This chapter explores contemporary economic policy and state–market relations in France against the backdrop of comparative political economy debates about interventionism in the economy and international political economy debates about capital mobility and policy autonomy. Charting contemporary theoretical and empirical developments in the French case and beyond, the chapter explores how to situate economic policy within institutional and ideational context, and how interests can be brought into explanation. These three “i”s, it argues, represent different but not mutually exclusive ways to explore economic policy autonomy amidst international liberalization. It argues that insights from each of the three “i”s’ literatures have enhanced understandings of French economic policy, and informed its conduct to different degrees across the decades. It concludes with the potential for “post-dirigisme” to frame future research exploring the tension between the creeping influence of rules-based policymaking, co-existing and conflicting with enduring dirigiste practices and aspirations within French economic governance.
This article examines the single market by discussing, in turn, its origins, development, and impact. In doing so, it draws upon the different theoretical approaches used to study the dynamics of market integration. As the cornerstone of market integration, the single market has fostered a breadth and variety of research, drawing upon a variety of research traditions. From the launching of the customs union in the 1960s to the ‘1992 project’ in the 1980s, and, more recently, the Single Market Act, there is plenty for historians, political scientists, sociologists, lawyers, and economists to study about the process of market building in Europe. The article maps out a variety of different research directions for the further study of the single market, drawing on different disciplines to show both how the debate has developed and where it may be heading.