The Government of France

By Jean Blondel; E. Godfrey Drexel Jr. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

The Third Edition of The Government of France is entirely revised and it takes into account the changes, both social and political, which have occurred in France in the course of the 1060s. The rapid evolution of the French social structure, under the impact of economic development, turned the Fifth Republic into a much more stable regime than was forecast originally. This is not to diminish the part played by General De Gaulle in the reshaping of the institutions and, perhaps more importantly, in the creation of a style of politics which has attracted almost universal attention, found numerous followers in the most varied quarters, and been a source of anger or amusement for many both in France and abroad. As in previous editions, the figure of the General will be present on almost every page of this volume. But the political forces are slowly changing, partly in reaction to De Gaulle, partly under their own momentum, in response to the profound social changes which the previous regime, the Fourth Republic, had set in motion and from which the Fifth Republic, and De Gaulle himself, have greatly benefited. This is perhaps why the present French regime may not be a mere interlude; this is also why it is so difficult to describe and to measure adequately. One hopes only that this text will give readers a sense of the movements which are taking place and of the choices which are being made, even though the analysis of formal institutions may quickly be overtaken by the rapid pace of political change.

J.B.

E.D.G., JR.

-vii-

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The Government of France
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • EDITOR'S FOREWORD v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • I - The French Republican Tradition 1
  • Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Background of the Social Order 11
  • 3 - The Constitution 27
  • 4 - The Executive 41
  • Conclusion 54
  • 5 - The Legislature 56
  • Conclusion 76
  • 6: Political Parties 79
  • 7 - The Administration, the Judiciary, and Local Government 116
  • Conclusion 135
  • 8 - Government, Groups, and Social and Economic Policy 137
  • Conclusion 158
  • 9 - From Union to Community and Beyond 160
  • 10 - Foreign Policy 174
  • II - Problems of the Future 188
  • The French Constitution 194
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 217
  • Index 220
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