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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the impact, and political mediation, of globalization on the French political economy. There is little disagreement that globalizing forces are changing countries in a profound manner. Nowhere, however, has globalization generated such anxieties as in France, despite the economic benefits that it brings. This ambivalence highlights the importance of politics. First, rather than seeking to champion their actions, French policymakers, via their discursive framing, have presented economic liberalization as the unavoidable and distasteful consequence of globalization. Second, ambivalence toward globalization also illustrates the constraining legacy associated with the previous model of economic dirigisme. Coordination of economic activities around direct interactions between policymakers and executives of large companies served to overcome economic lags and social tensions, but stifled the development of the institutional foundations for either a coordinated or a liberal market economy—an important shortcoming for economic adjustment in the current economic environment.

Keywords: Finance, globalization, institutional hybridization, varieties of capitalism, welfare state

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