Open Access (free)

In 2002, the French party system seems to be demonstrating a fluidity, if not outright instability, equal to any period in the Fifth Republic's history. This book explores the extent to which this represents outright change and shifts within a stable structure. Portrayals of French political culture point to incivisme, individualism and a distrust of organizations. The book focuses on three fundamental political issues such as 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which appear in almost all political discussions and conflicts. It identifies different 'types' of state in political theory and looks at the major challenges to practical state sovereignty in the modern world. Discussing the concept of the nation in the United Kingdom, the book identifies both cultural and political aspects of nationhood. These include nation and state; race and nation; language and the nation; religion and national identity; government and nation; common historical and cultural ties; and a sense of 'nationhood'. Liberal democracy, defensive democracy and citizen democracy/republican democracy are explained. The book also analyses John Stuart Mill's and Isaiah Berlin's views on 'negative' and 'positive' freedom. Conservatism is one of the major intellectual and political strains of thought in Western culture. Liberalism has become the dominant ideology in the third millennium. Socialism sprang from the industrial revolution and the experience of the class that was its product, the working class. Events have made 'fascism' a term of political abuse rather than one of serious ideological analysis. Environmentalism and ecologism constitute one of the most recent ideological movements.

state. At the same time, French political parties perform such essential functions as political mobilisation, the aggregation of interests, organising political competition, feedback, public management and political recruitment. Our aim in this chapter is to give an overview of the evolution of the French party system in the first forty-five years of the Fifth Republic, to examine the principal changes since the 1980s and to identify the underlying continuities in the party system. The structure and evolution of the French party system The history of French parties

in The French party system

aftermath of the 2002 elections. The conclusion will assess both the UMP’s longer-term prospects, and its more general impact on the French party system. France’s divided right For most of the Fifth Republic, three things have divided the French right: real differences of ideology and policy; opposed organisational cultures; and the logic of presidential competition. On the other hand, although the right-wing electorate is far from homogeneous, divisions among voters had rather little impact on divisions between the parties – and voter demand was eventually to be

in The French party system
Open Access (free)
La gauche de la gauche

climate characterised by both stagnation and volatility. Changes in the party system Belated industrialisation, the Socialist–Communist split and longstanding ideological divisions have all been cited as factors delaying the formation of modern, disciplined party machines in France. Long into the twentieth century, the political system incubated numerous parties, most of them Beyond the mainstream: la gauche de la gauche 93 with weak structures and limited militant bases. Under the Fifth Republic, revision of the electoral system forced parties to combine in

in The French party system
Open Access (free)

ideological space whose voters win and lose elections. Lastly, in empirical terms, the total level of volatility is the lowest since the 1973–78 electoral period, and indeed one of the lowest in the history of the Fifth Republic (Figure C.3).4 The 1988 election stands out as the outlier in an otherwise relatively smooth trend in volatility. The 1986–88 right-wing government clearly made little difference to the electorate in terms of their choice – no wholesale defection to the right, no grateful return to the left, and hence the minority government of the left until 1993

in The French party system
Open Access (free)

Socialist) forms government. 5 November 1957 Gaillard (Radical Socialist) forms government. 14 May 1958 Pflimlin (Popular Republican Movement) forms government. The transition to the Fifth Republic and the Algerian issue 2 and 20 March 1956 France recognises independence of Morocco and Tunisia. 13 May 1958 Creation of military

in The politics today companion to West European Politics

along social and religious cleavages. Sometimes mediated by the institutional framework or anti-system cleavages – for instance the pragmatic alliance of the centre characteristic of the Third and Fourth Republics or the anti-Gaullist cleavage of the early Fifth Republic – the left–right dichotomy and its economic and cultural subdimensions truly emerged as the effective predictor of voting choice by the 1980s (Capdevielle et al., 1981, Bartolini 1984). Nuances of patrimoine and religious practice and the recently more complicated class structure aside, even the basic

in The French party system
Open Access (free)

electoral pact (the Joint Programme for Government between the PS, PCF and left radicals) for the 1978 elections. Bérégovoy was campaign manager for Mitterrand in the Socialist presidential election victory of 1981, and again in 1988. Under Mitterrand, he was appointed Secretary-General of the President’s Office, the first in the Fifth Republic not to have been a senior civil servant. As Minister of Social Affairs and National

in The politics today companion to West European Politics
From revolution to reform

2 The French Communist Party: from revolution to reform David S. Bell The left The PCF: from revolution to reform Introduction Under the Fourth and Fifth Republics the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) was one of the most important forces in the shaping of the party system. This status only began to diminish in the 1980s with the victory of François Mitterrand in the presidential and legislative elections of 1981. Although the Communist Party is a shadow of its former self, the shape of the party system and its behaviour over the post-war period is explicable

in The French party system
Open Access (free)
The break-up of a party confederation

7 The UDF in the 1990s: the break-up of a party confederation Nicolas Sauger The right The UDF in the 1990s Introduction The principal dynamic of the French party system under the Fifth Republic has been that of the so-called ‘bipolar quadrille’. By the end of the 1970s, four parties of approximately equal strength were monopolising over 90 per cent of the vote in their respective left and right blocs (Parodi, 1989). Nevertheless, this end-state had taken twenty years to produce, concluding in 1978 with the formation of the UDF. The UDF managed to create an

in The French party system