This chapter examines the profound changes that have taken place in the study of environmental and energy policy (EEP) in and about France. It explains why and how they constitute a challenge from a substantive and an analytic perspective, and, in the French context, it argues that EEP still holds an ambivalent position. This chapter develops two main arguments. First, the emergence of EEP study in the French context is closely related to this policy’s origins and long-held, strong relationships with the ecology movement. Second, EEP in France has long constituted a challenge for both comparative political research and for classic models about the functioning of the state and policymaking in France. This chapter concludes by challenging the idea that EEP in France is sufficiently specific to justify excluding it any longer from comparative political research agendas.
Charlotte Burns and Neil Carter
EU environmental policy is typically identified as a success story; actors within the EU took the creation of the single market as an opportunity to introduce an impressive array of environmental regulation and to place the Union at the forefront of international efforts to combat global environmental problems. However, whilst portraits of the EU and its ‘pioneer’ states as being environmental leaders are seductive, when subjected to empirical analysis a more nuanced and complex picture emerges. Moreover, there are some long-standing and more recent challenges to the EU's self-perception and wider reputation as an environmental leader. This article first reviews the development of the EU's environmental policy before addressing the principal challenges that the Union faces in the field of environmental policy. These include the persistent implementation deficit; enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe; and the re-emerging tension between the EU's perception that it is a global environmental leader and its failure to deliver at major international meetings, such as the climate change conferences in Copenhagen (2009) and Cancun (2010).
This chapter analyzes how French public policy approaches have studied the influence of European integration on France’s domestic public policies. Starting from a review of the general literature on Europeanization, the chapter presents three periods in the study of Europeanization that characterize French and francophone research from the 1990s to the beginning of the 2000s: the discovery of European integration as factor of domestic change; the period where research imported comparative Europeanization questions from abroad; and, finally, the emancipation of French Europeanization research. The chapter stresses that while Europeanization research emerged concurrently in the French and international realms, part of the French approach, embedded in a cognitive framework, best subsumed under the heading of “réferentiel,” has gradually started to influence debates at the international level.
Patrick Hassenteufel and Bruno Palier
The French welfare system is usually classified as a case of a corporatist–conservative welfare regime because its main components clearly reflect the Bismarckian tradition of social insurance. The economic, social, and political functions of the French welfare system developed after 1945 explain the subsequent difficulties in transforming it following the economic crisis of the 1970s. We show that until the 1990s the main goal of welfare policies was the rescue of the French model based on financial measures. It is only since the end of the twentieth century that French social programs and institutions have been progressively (and partly) reformed to adapt to the new economic and social environment. This reform trajectory has been changed only slightly since the 2008 crisis, despite growing European intrusiveness.
Amy G. Mazur and Anne Revillard
This chapter maps out the international field of feminist comparative policy (FCP) and emerging gender policy studies in France in relation to each other. While French researchers have been involved with FCP projects and non-French scholars have contributed significantly to general understanding, knowledge, and theory on France, gender policy studies in France have maintained a distinctive twist, including more interdisciplinary connections, less formalization, less of an explicit feminist approach, and more use of in-depth qualitative methods. The distinct nature of French gender policy studies has underpinned its dynamism inside and outside France and has allowed French research to make significant contributions to comparative feminist policy studies at an international level. This strong comparative connection is reflected by the degree to which the research agendas of the French and international research communities converge around implementation studies and intersectionality.