French Politics and Society by Alistair Cole

By Alistair Cole

Assuming no past wisdom and targeting the post-1981 period, this booklet introduces the basics of French executive and society.  masking a large spectrum of issues, French Politics and Society second variation follows a logical constitution and framework for research, supplying an exceptional description of French associations, entry to heritage details and discussions of historic advancements, political forces, public coverage, and the evolution of significant features of French society

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The MRP opted for a parliamentary system with checks and balances to prevent arbitrary executive rule. Once de Gaulle had resigned, the PCF and SFIO (but not the MRP) proposed their version of the constitution for ratification in a referendum held in April 1946. In their draft constitution, the PCF and SFIO proposed to abolish the second chamber – the Senate – and to create a monocameral parliamentary system. The left was opposed to the continued existence of the Senate, which, representing the interests of rural and small-town France, had consistently frustrated social reform during the Third Republic.

During the Third and Fourth Republics, the fear of strong leaders usually meant that mediocre politicians were selected as premiers, by zealous parliamentarians determined to retain their own prerogatives. In periods of crisis, the Republican state had turned to ‘great men’, such as Georges Clemenceau during the First World War. But it rid itself of their services once normal circumstances had returned. The institutional consequence of this was to strengthen the negative capacity of parliament to unmake governments.

The introduction of elaborate planning mechanisms (the five-year plans), and the creation of the General Commissariat for Planning both testified to a powerful impetus in favour of economic and social modernisation on behalf of the state (Hall, 1986). There was a rapid economic upturn: economic growth soon reached an average 6 per cent per annum after 1950, helped by the effects of Marshall aid, and, it has been argued, by active state interventionism in economic management in the form of a series of five-year plans.

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