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A Bridge Across the Mediterranean

Nafissa Sid Cara and the Politics of Emancipation during the Algerian War

Elise Franklin

secretary of state to promote their protection. Indeed, she and the government of the Fifth Republic made use of the promises of emancipation to launch a campaign for the continued value of French citizenship. However, the universal rights supposedly

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John P. Willerton and Martin Carrier

The April 21st defeat of Socialist party candidate Lionel Jospin in the first round of the 2002 presidential elections shockingly ended the five-year reign of arguably the most productive government in Fifth Republic France.1 The Jospin government of the Gauche Plurielle departed as surprisingly as it had come to power five years earlier, its legacy of unprecedented success in Left coalition building and far-ranging policy construction seemingly voided by Jospin’s embarrassing loss to Jean-Marie Le Pen and the Far Right.

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Gérard Grunberg

The radical component is still alive in French socialism. It finds expression notably in the anti-liberal economic perspective that the international financial crisis has recently reawakened. It is also expressed in the critique of the institutions of the Fifth Republic that Nicolas Sarkozy's "hyper-presidency" has revived. The tendency toward radicalization, however, is also heavily constrained these days for several reasons. The Socialist Party, first of all, has become a party of government. The centrality of the presidential election in the French system and the presidentialist character that the Socialist Party has taken on make a presidential victory a top priority for the party. Too radical a discourse can become, for such a party, counter-productive. The economic environment, moreover, and the situation the country faces makes less and less credible as a political objective the large-scale, state-led redistribution that has traditionally been how French socialism has translated its radicalism into a program of government.

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Charles Rearick

Nostalgia in its classic form—a longing for home—has commonly welled up among Parisians living far from their city. That kind of nostalgia famously afflicted soldiers called to battle, notably during the drawn-out “Great War.” It also struck civilian Parisians unable to return to their hometown during the Occupation. A more common and widespread form of Parisian nostalgia is the bittersweet remembrance of a time in the past, especially following a bout of charm-destroying changes or urbanist operations, such as those of the Second Empire and the Fifth Republic. Cultural memory has imbued one particular era with the greatest nostalgia: the so-called Belle Époque. More generally, Parisian nostalgia has focused on a memory of the disappearing petit peuple and a handful of picturesque sites, such as pre-1914 Montmartre and, in the late twentieth century, the old central Halles, Belleville, and the Rue de Lappe.

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Jytte Klausen, The Islamic Challenge. Politics and Religion in Western Europe (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).

Reviewed by Joyce Mushaben

David Art, The Politics of the Nazi Past in Germany and Austria (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Reviewed by Antonis Ellinas

Michael Bernhard, Institutions and the Fate of Democracy: Germany and Poland in the 20th Century (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005))

Reviewed by John Bendix

Brian Rathbun, Partisan Interventions: European Party Politics and Peace Enforcement in the Balkans (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004).

Reviewed by Charles King

Judd Stitziel, Fashioning Socialism: Clothing, Politics and Consumer Culture in East Germany (New York: Berg, 2005).

Reviewed by Catherine Plum

Cindy Skach, Borrowing Constitutional Designs: Constitutional Law in Weimar Germany and the French Fifth Republic, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).

Reviewed by Michael Bernhard

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The Muslim Veteran in Postcolonial France

The Politics of the Integration of Harkis After 1962

Sung Choi

During the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), France mobilized tens of thousands of native Algerian soldiers, known as the harkis, for counterinsurgent operations directed against their own countrymen of the National Liberation Front. As recruits for the French army, the harkis were given French status, which was then revoked when Algeria gained its independence. France later accepted the harkis as veterans and “repatriates,” only to confine them in camps until the 1970s. The abuse of the harkis has been noted as a “forgotten” episode in French postcolonial history. This article argues that the harkis were far from having been “forgotten,” and in fact were considered important throughout the Fifth Republic as a powerful counterpoint to the more problematic immigrant Algerian population in France. The harkis represented the key tension in postcolonial France between the notion of an irrevocable civil status and a national identity that favored a Eurocentric culture.

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Jocelyn Evans

Political parties use policy radicalism as a means of attaining electoral success. Differentiation from other parties and ideological renewal after a period of incumbency or prolonged opposition are valid reasons for policy innovation, but excessive radicalization has a number of detrimental effects, including mismanaging voter expectations. This article analyzes a number of examples of policy radicalization under the French Fifth Republic. It starts from concepts taken from policy mood and spatial competition models, and examines how French political parties of both Left and Right have overreached in their ideological stances, and thereby exacerbated political disenchantment among the French public. The article concludes by looking at the notion that mainstream politicians may not be acting in their own best interests when they radicalize the political agenda by misreading electoral competitive cues.

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The Mendès France Milk Regime

Alcoholism as a Problem of Agricultural Subsidies, 1954–1955

Joseph Bohling

In 1954, Pierre Mendès France committed the state to curbing alcoholism as part of an effort to reorient important agricultural sectors and improve French economic performance, using milk as a symbol of his government's new direction. While Mendès France's milk drinking was often portrayed as the whim of a maverick politician, this article shows instead that it was the expression of a broadly based movement to modernize the economy. Challenging the view of an insular state that exclusively served the powerful alcohol lobbies, this article contends that the success of alcohol reform hinged on Mendès France's ability to overcome parliament and pit other economic sectors and a public health movement against those lobbies. Although it would require the more centralized authority of the Fifth Republic to implement lasting reforms to the alcohol sector, the Mendès France government helped raise public awareness about the purported link between alcoholism and agricultural subsidies that kept uncompetitive producers on the land at the taxpayer's expense.

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Political Radicalism in France

Perspectives on a Protean Concept

James Shields

This introductory article reflects on the new momentum that political radicalism has taken on in France. The ebb and flow of radical aspiration featured regularly in French politics under the Fourth and early Fifth Republics, before the failure of the "Socialist experiment" in the early 1980s brought about a paradigm shift. In the wake of this failure and with the "end of ideology" supposedly in sight, political leaders and parties tempered their appeals to radical solutions and conspired, not least through recurrent power-sharing, to vacate mainstream political discourse of much of its former radicalism. Since the presidential election of 2007, however, there has been a marked return to promises of radical change as the common currency of political discourse across the full left-right spectrum in France. This article introduces a special issue of French Politics, Culture & Society that brings together scholars from France, Britain, and Canada to discuss some of the meanings, expressions, and prospects of political radicalism in France today.

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From the Élysée Salon to the Table of the Republic

State-Islam Relations and the Integration of Muslims in France

Jonathan Laurence

The creation of a representative council for observant Muslims—the Conseil Français du Culte Musulman—is a landmark accomplishment of Fifth Republic France. It is a strong reaffirmation of the republican framework in which the representatives of organized religion are expected to operate in lay France. But it is also an uncharacteristic official acknowledgment of contemporary religious diversity. How did a country whose political system has been notoriously allergic to organized religion decide to assemble and embed Muslim leaders within a state-sponsored institution? Some clues are contained in the remarks above, which hint at the mindset of the ministers in charge of religious affairs. These statements, made by two key actors in the French government's efforts to integrate Islam into French state-church relations, can be seen as rhetorical bookends of a policy process aiming to bring France's Muslim population closer to the state. Over a nearly fifteen-year period, politicians of distinct party traditions drew on competing models of state-society relations to make this politically feasible.