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date: 22 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The larger comparative theory-building and stocktaking goals and questions, and the plan of the book, are presented in this chapter. The major dynamics and developments of French political life are discussed in terms of explaining and understanding the evolution of French politics. The next section provides an overview of French political science to situate the analysis of the study of French politics both inside and outside France in the chapters that follow. The outside-in/inside-out approach of the book is next highlighted in terms of how the vast majority of the chapters follow a common three-part comparative framework: the development of the study of French politics first outside and then inside France and then the emerging research agenda. The chapter then outlines the book’s structure in three sections: conceptual foundations, large-scale processes, and comparative politics dimensions—institutions; parties, elections, and voters; civil society; and policy and policymaking, both domestic and international.

Keywords: French politics, French political science, comparative politics, theory-building, inside out, outside in

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