Presidential Power in Fifth Republic France

Presidential Power in Fifth Republic France

Presidential Power in Fifth Republic France

Presidential Power in Fifth Republic France

Synopsis

The French Fifth Republic Presidency has emerged as one of the most powerful executives in western society. This book is a study of how the power of the Presidency was created and maintained. It investigates the political skills of the office holders and the way in which the coalition supporting the Presidency has been brought together and sustained (and how it has been, on occasion, lost). The book's analysis of leadership in the Fifth Republic draws out the skills and manipulation of the successive presidents as well as the resources of the cultural and political contexts. Amongst the topics considered as part of the presidential system are the Constitutions, the referendum, foreign policy, Europe, May'68, Giscard d'Estaing's centrist septennate, 'cohabitation' and neo-gaullism. These issues are treated as crucial elements in Presidential power and help to illustrate the foundations of Presidential authority. The main contention is that the presidency has been created and sustained by political acts of a high order which have involved the mobilization of certain symbols, culture, and political forces.

Excerpt

Many people have given their advice and have read through part or all of the drafts of this book. I am grateful to them as I am to those politicians and party workers who gave their time to help me with my research. Many politicians generously allowed me their time in giving interviews and that material has been incorporated. I also owe Prof. E. C. Hargrove, Prof. J. Gaffney, Prof. B. D. Graham, Prof. Morris, Prof. Colliard and Jean-Marcel, who read drafts, a considerable debt for their help. in addition I must thank the archivists of the ours and the Institut Charles de Gaulle in Paris, and the librarians of the fnsp and their friendly help in the Salle des dossiers. Our publisher has been unusually patient and without the Nuffield Foundation's support the many visits to archives and to interview people would not have been possible. I owe particular thanks to David Goldey of Lincoln College (Orfevre dans la matiere). the faults and deficiencies are, of course, my own.

D. S. Bell . . .

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