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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.

1 Stress, strain and stability in the French party system Alistair Cole The French party system Stress and stability Introduction Political parties do not find a natural breeding ground in France. Portrayals of French political culture point to incivisme, individualism and a distrust of organisations (Crozier, 1970, Pitts, 1981, Gaffney and Kolinsky, 1991). Though these representations are overly impressionistic, a powerful strand of French republicanism has denigrated political parties as divisive, fractious organisations. This is best exemplified by the

in The French party system

10 Europe and the French party system Jocelyn A. J. Evans System context Europe and the French party system Introduction Since the advent of European Community/European Union politics and the growing influence the supranational arena has over domestic affairs, the potential for the European domain to impinge upon all aspects of national polities has grown. On the face of it, there has been no reason to suspect that European politics would not affect the party systems of these polities in the same way that it has affected, say, policy-making, judicial review

in The French party system

underplays analysis of the party itself. This chapter offers a two-tier analysis of the interaction between developments within the party system as a whole, and the internal politics of the French PS. At both levels, an appreciation of both structure and agency is vital to understanding how both the PS and the party system have recently evolved. The first section illustrates the institutional constraints of the French party system, and how its competitive demands helped to structure the internal organisation of the PS. Subsequent sections show how, in turn, the PS has

in The French party system
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Conclusion Jocelyn A. J. Evans The French party system Conclusion Looking at the French party system in 2002 in the wake of the presidential and legislative elections, it is perhaps initially tempting to see abrupt change everywhere. An apparently successful left-wing government is overturned, all its partners losing almost half their National Assembly seats or more. A fractured moderate right, led – if one can use that word – by a president weighed down by corruption scandals and coming out of a largely inactive incumbency, wins almost 70 per cent of the

in The French party system
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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
From revolution to reform

only in terms of the PCF’s historical comportment. No discussion of the French party system is possible without taking into account the size and nature of what was, for most of the cold war, the biggest Communist Party in the western world. French Communism has had both negative and positive effects on the party system. It was, on the one hand, the great party of the left dominating the parts of society which in other western countries were social democratic. It was tightly organised and ran unions, societies and associations which it used for its own purposes and it

in The French party system
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Party system change and electoral prospects

the various dimensions of party system change at a time of growing electoral volatility and increasing level of fragmentation within the system. The extent to which the French party system has moved away from the long-lasting dual format as a consequence of extreme-right success, particularly with regard to the resilience of the traditional cleavage structure of French politics, remains a debated issue (Cole, 1998, Hanley, 1999a, Guyomarch, 1995). This chapter will first look back at the pre-1999 period to assess the role played by the FN in challenging the

in The French party system
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Implications for the party system

5 Managing the plural left: implications for the party system David Hanley The left Managing the plural left Introduction The plural left marks a new type of alignment within the French party system. Left parties had cooperated previously according to varying formulae. The type of majority known as concentration républicaine (Goguel, 1946) is arguably the first manifestation, followed by the hegemony of the délégation des gauches in the 1900s, which put through anti-clerical measures of ‘republican defence’. The interwar period witnessed the cartel des

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