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POLITICAL HISTORY AND INSITUTIONS

Legacy of the Revolution:

Declaration of the Rights of Man / Citizen

  • Individual rights (e.g. property and expression)
  • Political rights (popular soverignty, separation of powers, representative democracy)

Secularism

  • Religious neutrality of the state
  • Religious freedom of citizens
  • Influence of Enlightenment (Rousseau)
  • Catholic Church opposed revolution
  • 1905: Separation of Church and State
  • 2004: Ban of conspicuous religious signs in schools
  • 2010: Ban on face covering ("Burka Ban")
  • 2016: Burkini ban suspended
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POLITICAL HISTORY AND INSITUTIONS

Republicanism

  • Principle of equality before the law
  • "Law is the expression of the general will... all citizens being equal in the eyes of the law" (Declaration of the Rights of Man/ Citizen)
  • Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite
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POLITICAL HISTORY AND INSITUTIONS

Charles de Gaulle / 5th Republic 1890-1970:

1940-1944:

  • Battle of France (1940)
  • Vichy France and Appeal of Armistice
  • "Free zone" and government exiled
  • Allies (France) vs Axis
  • Liberation of Paris (1944)
  • De Gaulle President of Provisional Gov (1944)

1946-58 = 4th Republic:

  • Instability (24 PMs in 12ys)
  • Parliamentary system/ proportional representation
  • Decolonisation of France
  • De Gaulle last PM of 4th Republic (1958)
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POLITICAL HISTORY AND INSITUTIONS

De Gallue first President of 5th Republic (1959)

Gaullism:

  • Idea of France: "independence, sovereignty and a world leader"

1965: Empty Chair Crisis

1966: Withdrawl from NATO

Economic intervention:

  • State enterprises
  • Economic planning
  • No economic liberalism

Strong executive:

  • Direct election of President / Referendums frequent
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POLITICAL HISTORY AND INSITUTIONS

Semi-presidentialism (replacing parliamentary government of 4th Republic):

Institutions of the 5th Republic:

  • Strong executive power
  • Popular election of President  (7y term but 5y since referendum 2000)
  • Government needs support of National Assembly
  • Prime Minister appointed by President
  • Executive and legislative power
  • Cohabitation (e.g. 1997-2002: Chirac - Jospin)
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ELECTORAL SYSTEMS

Presidential elections:

  • Win = absolute majority (50% + 1 vote) in R1

Or

  • 2 most successful candidates continue to R2

Legislative elections:

577 deputies in single-member districts

  • Win  = absolute majoirty of votes in R1

OR

  • Simple majority in R2
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POLITICAL PARTIES

Jean-Luc Melenchon:

Unsubmissive France, La France Insoumise (FI)

  • Critical of EU
  • Rejects economic liberalism

Benoit Hamon:

Socialist Party, Parti Socialiste (PS)

  • Basic income
  • Pro-EU
  • Rejects economic liberalism
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POLITICAL PARTIES

Emmanuel Macron:

Forward!, En Marche (EM)

  • Liberal on economic and social issues
  • Pro-EU
  • Pro-immigration

Francois Fillon:

The Republicans, Les Republicains (LR)

  • Economically liberal ("French Thatcher")
  • Conservative on social issues
  • Controversial foreign policy (cooperation with Putin and Assad)
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POLITICAL PARTIES

Marine Le Pen:

National Front, Front National (FN)

  • Anti-immigratin
  • Anti-EU
  • Nativism ("national preference" for French citizens)

Founded 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen

First successes in 1980s

Racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, Islamophobic

Marine President of FN since 2011

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pp

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pp

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POLITICAL PARTIES

New image? New programme?

  • New focus on economic issues
  • Same programme on immigration
  • No mention of death penalty (but no ideological change)
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