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The unsolved contradictions of the modernists. Economic policy expectations and political crisis in France 1978-2012

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  • Bruno Amable

    ()
    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, CEPREMAP - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications - Centre pour la recherche économique et ses applications, IUF - Institut Universitaire de France - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper analyses the French political crisis since the late 1970s by investigating the links between the social structure and the economic policy expectations of the electorate. To this end, data on post-electoral survey are used to estimate structural models of political support to political parties for 1978 and 2012, and the estimation results are used to propose an analysis of the French crisis. The enduring French political crisis is found to be the expression of contradictions between the economic policies implemented by the successive governments and the existence of a dominant social bloc, i.e. a coalition of social groups that would politically support the dominant political strategy. Since 1978, both the right and the left have failed to find a solution to the contradictions between the policies they implemented and the expectations of their social bases, which are themselves inhabited by tensions and contradictions that evolve with the structure of French capitalism. The failure of all governing coalitions so far is a new expression of that of the "modernists" to take into account the expectations of the popular classes.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00973926.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00973926

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Keywords: France; political crisis; political economy; social base;

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  1. Bruno Amable, 2008. "Structural reforms in Europe and the (in)coherence of institutions," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne r08063, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  2. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
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