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

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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

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno Amable, 2014. "The unsolved contradictions of the modernists. Economic policy expectations and political crisis in France 1978-2012," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14023, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:14023
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    File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2014/14023.pdf
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    1. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-296, June.
    2. Bruno Amable & Elvire Guillaud & Stefano Palombarini, 2012. "L'Économie politique du néolibéralisme - Le cas de la France et de l'Italie," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00676727, HAL.
    3. Bruno Amable & Elvire Guillaud & Stefano Palombarini, 2012. "Changing French capitalism: political and systemic crises in France," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" hal-00731545, HAL.
    4. Philippe Askenazy, 2014. "Les décennies aveugles : Emploi et croissance (1970-2014)," Post-Print halshs-01109043, HAL.
    5. Bruno Amable, 2009. "Structural reforms in Europe and the (in)coherence of institutions," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 17-39, Spring.
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    Keywords

    France; political crisis; political economy; social base;

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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