- 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
Originally emerging from the field of EU studies, the notion and approach of multi-level governance (MLG) have progressively been transferred to a variety of other subfields. This chapter argues that three particularities characterize the way in which French political scientists have dealt with governance and MLG. First, the notion of governance has not had great success since the existing notion of government has long been used in a sociological and relational way to describe processes and outcomes rather than merely executive institutions. Second, French scholars who adopted the notion quickly departed from the early definition of governance as opposed to government, institutions, or coercion. Third, the use of governance and MLG helped to consolidate a French way of doing political science that was based on a reluctance toward theoretical hastiness, a sensitivity to varieties of situations and processes in time and space, and a shared constructivist stance.
Gilles Pinson is a professor of political science in Sciences Po, Bordeaux, and a researcher in the Centre Emile Durkheim (Université de Bordeaux, Sciences Po, Bordeaux, CNRS). His research deals with urban policies and politics, urban and metropolitan governance, and the transformations of the relationships between territorial states and cities. He is currently working on the politicization of inter-municipal bureaucrats in the French metropolis and the construction of the local markets of the “smart city.” Among his main publications are Gouverner la ville par projet. Urbanisme et gouvernance des villes européennes (Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 2009), and more recently “Gouvernance et sociologie de l’action organisée. Action publique, coordination et théorie de l’État” (L’Année sociologique, 65(2), 2015, 483–517); “From the Governance of Sustainability to the Management of Climate Change: Reshaping Urban Policies and Central–Local Relations in France” (with V. Béal, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 7(3), 2015, 402–19); and “When Mayors Go Global: International Strategies, Urban Governance and Leadership” (with V. Béal, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(1), 2014, 302–17). He is currently preparing a book about the debate on the neo-liberalization of urban policies and governance (Debating the Neoliberal City, Ashgate, forthcoming). He is a member of the editorial boards of the Revue française de science politique and Métropoles.
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