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.
Stress, strain and stability in the
French party system
The French party system
Stress and stability
Political parties do not find a natural breeding ground in France.
Portrayals of Frenchpoliticalculture 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
, 77–84; Buvat, Journal, I,
280. The accounts in Hardy, Judicial Politics, p. 108, and Shennan, Parlement of
Paris, pp. 288–289, are incomplete.
BN, F. 23,673 (Regency Council): sessions of 27 and 30 June 1718, ﬀ. 92rv, 93r;
AN, U 416: 1 July 1718; Buvat (?), Gazette de la Régence, p. 269.
Flammermont, Remontrances, I, 85–87; BN, Fonds fr., 9771, ﬀ. 102rv–103rv; and
AN, U 420. For mid-century issues of representation, see Keith Michael Baker,
‘Representation Redeﬁned’, in idem, Inventing the French Revolution. Essays on FrenchPoliticalCulture in the Eighteenth
The revolt of democratic Christianity and the rise of public opinion
and Society in Eighteenth-Century France, vol. 2, p. 433.
On public opinion in France, in addition to the works of Baker, Echeverria and
Chartier cited in Chapter 2, see also K. Baker, ‘Politics and Public Opinion under the Old Regime: Some Reflections’, in J. Censer and J. Popkin (eds), Press
and Politics in Pre-Revolutionary France (Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1987), reprinted as ‘Public Opinion as Political Invention’, in K. Baker,
Inventing the French Revolution. Essays on FrenchPoliticalCulture in the
Eighteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge