- The Oxford Handbook of French Politics
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Abbreviations
- Notes on Contributors
- A Framework for a Comparative Politics of France
- Republicanism: a transatlantic misunderstanding
- The State Imperative
- The French Welfare System
- Identity, Culture, and Politics: the other and the self in France
- The French Way to Multi-Level Governance: governance with government
- The Europeanization of Public Policy in France: actor-centered approaches
- Globalization: French ambivalence as a critical case
- Executive Politics in France: from leader to laggard?
- Legislative Politics: going international, while staying native
- Constitutional Politics: the French case and theory-building
- Challenges to French Public Administration: mapping the vitality of its knowledge sources
- Regional and Local Government: interpreting territorial politics
- Political Representation: bringing elections back in
- How to Study Political Culture Without Naming It
- Explaining French Elections: the need to meet in the middle
- Parties and Party Systems: making the French sociocultural approach matter
- Political Communication: from international institutionalization to national conquest of scientific legitimacy
- Interest Groups: moving beyond state-centric models
- The Study of Social Movements in France: the “French touch” and a comparative contribution
- Women’s Movements and Feminism: French political sociology meets a comparative feminist approach
- National Identity in France: a blind spot
- French Economic Policy: theory development and the three “I”s
- Environmental and Energy Policy in France: a critical case for comparative political research?
- Gender Policy Studies: distinct, but making the comparative connection
- France and the Evolution of European Integration: the exemplary and pivotal case for broader theories
- Varieties of Capitalism: a distinctly French model?
- Defense and Security Policy: beyond French exceptionalism
- French Aid Through the Comparative Looking Glass: a representative, deviant, or agenda-setting case?
- Toward a Comparative Politics of France
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter argues that the pervasive sense of national decline among French public opinion can only be appreciated if it is judged against the elevated height of state self-esteem over previous centuries. Since the stabilization of the political regime in the second half of the twentieth century, the state has regressed as the overarching and unifying political framework, reversing its traditional standing. Now, many of the traditional state culture’s assumptions are no longer valid, creating a disjunction between expectations about what the state should do and what it can do. While those who speak on behalf of the state endeavor to sustain the myth of its sovereignty, their credibility has become increasingly implausible as the long process of state-building has been unwinding. Thus, France remains exceptional in terms of its norms and ideas about the state, even if it is no longer exceptional in terms of the behavior of the state.
Jack Hayward was Professor of Politics at the University of Hull (1973–92) and Professor of Politics and then Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. On retirement he returned to Hull as a part-time research professor in politics. He has also been a visiting professor at various French universities, including the Sorbonne and the Paris Institute of Political Studies. He was formerly the Chair of the UK Political Studies Association and editor of its journal, Political Studies, from 1987 to 1993. His books include Private Interests and Public Policy (London: Longmans Green & Co, 1966), The One and Indivisible French Republic (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973), The State and the Market Economy (Brighton: Wheatsheaf Books, 1986), After the French Revolution (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991), Governing from the Centre (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), Fragmented France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), Leaderless Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), The Withering of the Welfare State (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and European Disunion (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
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