In 2002, the French party system seems to be demonstrating a fluidity, if not outright instability, equal to any period in the Fifth Republic's history. This book explores the extent to which this represents outright change and shifts within a stable structure. Portrayals of French political culture point to incivisme, individualism and a distrust of organizations. The book focuses on three fundamental political issues such as 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which appear in almost all political discussions and conflicts. It identifies different 'types' of state in political theory and looks at the major challenges to practical state sovereignty in the modern world. Discussing the concept of the nation in the United Kingdom, the book identifies both cultural and political aspects of nationhood. These include nation and state; race and nation; language and the nation; religion and national identity; government and nation; common historical and cultural ties; and a sense of 'nationhood'. Liberal democracy, defensive democracy and citizen democracy/republican democracy are explained. The book also analyses John Stuart Mill's and Isaiah Berlin's views on 'negative' and 'positive' freedom. Conservatism is one of the major intellectual and political strains of thought in Western culture. Liberalism has become the dominant ideology in the third millennium. Socialism sprang from the industrial revolution and the experience of the class that was its product, the working class. Events have made 'fascism' a term of political abuse rather than one of serious ideological analysis. Environmentalism and ecologism constitute one of the most recent ideological movements.
At the same time, French political parties perform such essential
functions as political mobilisation, the aggregation of interests, organising
political competition, feedback, public management and political recruitment. Our aim in this chapter is to give an overview of the evolution of
the French party system in the first forty-five years of the FifthRepublic,
to examine the principal changes since the 1980s and to identify the
underlying continuities in the party system.
The structure and evolution of the French party system
The history of French parties
May 1968 events under de Gaulle to the mass protests of 2016 against the El Khomri reform under Hollande). Moreover, the office has evolved considerably over time, to the point that in 2012, at the end of Sarkozy's presidential term, I asked the question: was the presidency the same institution under Sarkozy as that of his FifthRepublic predecessors (Cole, 2012 )?
In one obvious sense, the French presidency has been forced to evolve with time. France in the 1960s was not the same as France in the mid-2010s. De Gaulle's leadership was crafted in the
aftermath of the
2002 elections. The conclusion will assess both the UMP’s longer-term
prospects, and its more general impact on the French party system.
France’s divided right
For most of the FifthRepublic, three things have divided the French
right: real differences of ideology and policy; opposed organisational
cultures; and the logic of presidential competition. On the other hand,
although the right-wing electorate is far from homogeneous, divisions
among voters had rather little impact on divisions between the parties
– and voter demand was eventually to be
climate characterised by both stagnation
Changes in the party system
Belated industrialisation, the Socialist–Communist split and longstanding
ideological divisions have all been cited as factors delaying the formation
of modern, disciplined party machines in France. Long into the twentieth
century, the political system incubated numerous parties, most of them
Beyond the mainstream: la gauche de la gauche
with weak structures and limited militant bases. Under the FifthRepublic,
revision of the electoral system forced parties to combine in
The evolution of French scholarship on the Middle East
somewhat unique element of French interactions with the MENA.
A second and equally important tradition revolves around the role of
political Islam in the region, as well as its interplay with French concepts of
republicanism and laïcité . The clash of these two revolutionary and
universalist forces – French republicanism and political Islam – has led to a
complex scholarly interplay that has taken on various shapes and forms. However, for most of
the FifthRepublic, the political consequences have been clear, with France
year. The result was one of the most ambitious reform programmes of the FifthRepublic – on the face of it, at least. The record after the first year in office was impressive. LR politicians in particular were in a dilemma because many LR electors approved the main measures undertaken by Macron, such as the reform of the labour market.
That Macron represents a form of renewal is one of the least controversial interpretations of his leadership (Sirinelli, 2017 ). Baudry, Bigorne and Duhamel ( 2017 ) interpret renewal in terms of changing the existing
Looking back at the 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections
fought in the context of the record of an outgoing government and an election campaign. For the first time in the FifthRepublic, the incumbent president decided not to stand for re-election, thereby depriving the campaign of one of its major political functions (testing the accountability of an outgoing administration). Following the defeat of Valls in the Socialist primary, no single candidate in the 2017 campaign explicitly defended the record of the outgoing government, in part as a consequence of the primary elections.
The primaries presented a
; Gaffney, 2015 ). Macron's positioning as Jupiter was intended not only to signify a return to sources of the FifthRepublic, but equally to impose an image, rather than allow a critical media to dictate a negative image, as in the case of Hollande and Flamby. 3
Beneath the bombast and pretention, there is an argument that Macron understands the institutions of the FifthRepublic rather better than his predecessors, and certainly more than any other incumbent since Mitterrand (1981–95). Even before being elected president, he had declared himself to be an adept
Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of intra-party democracy? This book is about improving our understanding of political parties as democratic organisations in the context of multi-level governance. It analyses the impact of European Union (EU) membership on power dynamics, focusing on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party (PS), and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The purpose of this book is to investigate who within the three parties determines EU policies and selects EU specialists, such as the candidates for European parliamentary elections and EU spokespersons. The book utilises a principal-agent framework to investigate the delegation of power inside the three parties across multiple levels and faces. It draws on over 65 original interviews with EU experts from the three national parties and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and an e-mail questionnaire. This book reveals that European policy has largely remained in the hands of the party leadership. Its findings suggest that the party grassroots are interested in EU affairs, but that interest rarely translates into influence, as information asymmetry between the grassroots and the party leadership makes it very difficult for local activists to scrutinise elected politicians and to come up with their own policy proposals. As regards the selection of EU specialists, such as candidates for the European parliamentary elections, this book highlights that the parties’ processes are highly political, often informal, and in some cases, undemocratic.