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Anjali Bhatt

on 11 June 2013

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Transcript of France

France has been lowering tariffs in conjunction with the EU
They have adopted the EU’s initiative of the Common Agricultural Program (CAP).
France originally rejected the EU constitution 55 to 45%
Most still favor the EU, but used the referendum to show their displeasure with the elites who run France and the EU.
Most French political Elites favor European unification because they see France leading a united Europe.
Many French reject the EU moving eastward, because of the fact that moving eastward makes Germany the Natural hub, something many French oppose privately, but rarely publicly.
France is invested in many different foreign companies
There is a lot of foreign direct investment into France
Many private French companies are moving out into other countries
Economic State
France is ranked 62 on the Index for economic freedom by The Heritage Foundation.
France’s extremely high government spending has lowered its ranking, scoring a 5.6 out 100 in the category of government spending.
France does have a lot of trade freedom scoring very highly in international trade, probably due to its involvement in the EU.
It scores low in both labor and business freedom, due to the fact it cost so much for businesses to hire and fire people, causing stagnation in the work force, and a steady unemployment rate.
S & P has recently downgraded France’s investment rating from AAA to AA+.
The French People take more holidays than people in most other major European holidays... 36 days per year.
Fiscal consolidation remains a priority.
The political timetable offers a unique opportunity to implement an ambitious strategy of reforms to make government less costly and more effective and to raise seniors’ employment and improve the prospects of the young.
Tax and transfer changes can raise efficiency without sacrificing equity.
Improving the situation of young people calls for wide-ranging reforms.
In its regular assessment of France's economy, the IMF said that it expects the economy to shrink 0.2 percent this year, down from a previously expected fall of 0.1 percent.
While the IMF report said that France has made some good reforms, it warned that much more needs to be done.
Political Institutions
Semi-Presidential System
Historical Background
Andrew Barnett
Contains a prime minister responsible to the Parliament and a directly elected president
Separate head of state (president) and head of government (PM)
President not just ceremonial--both possess political power
Marisa Hawley
Marisa Ferrari
Executive Branch:
Rob Eisenlord
Head of State: President (Currently François Hollande)
Elected by direct, popular vote
More than just ceremonial figurehead, responsibilities/roles include:
Supreme commander of the military
Determining policy with aid of Council of Ministers
Approving appointment of government ministers
Used to serve 7 year terms, now down to 5 years known as le quinquennat with two term maximum
Anjali Bhatt
Methods of Elections:
Head of State: Prime Minister (currently Jean-Marc Ayrault)
Appointed into office by president
Responsibilities/powers include:
Setting out Ministers' duties and responsibilities
Managing daily affairs of government
Issuing decrees
Overseeing national defense plans
Can also submit bills not yet signed into law to the Constitutional Council
Must be consulted by president before Parliament is dissolved
-For President;
-Every 5 years
-Single member districts that require over 50% of vote to win instead of simple plurality
-If no winner of first election, usual case, goes to runoff for top 2 candidates or all with >12.5% of vote
-Country considering going to FPTP elections in the future
-For Parliament;
-Same electoral system as President
Council of Ministers
Comparable to Cabinet in GB
Suggested by PM, appointed by President
Meets on weekly basis to determine policy

Responsibly to National Assembly
Required to answer written or oral questions asked by members of Parliament, known as Government questions
Cannot propose legislation without Parliamentary approval, but can propose bills
-High level of democracy and political efficacy
-Citizens vote directly for President and Parliament or regular basis
-President chooses Premier; similar to US President picking VP or Russian President picking Prime Minister
-President also Chooses Cabinet
Legislative Branch
Checks various actions of the Executive through formal questioning
Passes statutes and votes on budget
National Assembly (lower house) and Senate (upper house)
Meets for one 9-month session annually
Judicial Branch
• Judiciary is strongly independent of the executive and legislative branches
Judicial law broken into civil (corporate) and criminal (crimes); public law into constitutional (between branches) and administrative (agencies)
• Official handbook of French civil law is the Civil Code

• Minister of Justice
o Acts as head of judiciary
o Has powers over the running of the justice system and public prosecutors

Supreme Court of Appeals
o Handles lower courts, only court that requires the intervention of a solicitor or case attorney

Court of Cassation
o Highest court, court of final appeal for civil and criminal matters

Court of Assize
Sits in each of the departments of France with original and appellate jurisdiction over crimes, or serious felonies

• Constitutional Council
o Three members appointed by the president, three by President of National Assembly, three by President of Senate (9 members)
o Determines the constitutionality of new laws and decrees
o Has power to strike down bill before it is passed into law
-People are active in and appreciative of interest aggregation system
-One of the highest voter turnouts among developed democracies, 84% turnout among eligible voters in 2007
-11 parties with over 1% of vote
-4 parties with over 10% of vote
-No Parties with over 33% of vote
-Split among voters due to a myriad of parties founded by many active individuals to represent most societal groups
key problem European labor force rigidities related to generous welfare and unemployment benefits
social costs are so high that French firms are reluctant to hire new workers
French employer pays almost half as much in taxes as in wages
France tried to cut its work week from 39-35 hours without cuts in pay with the theory that firms would hire more workers; it did not work

Racial Problems
France has more Muslim immigrants than Britain and Germany
they flee to take the hardest, dirtiest, lowest paid work in France, but many are still unemployed especially young people
most French say there are too many Muslims in France
France has no affirmative action and does not collect official data on racial and religious groups
many of the young, angry Muslims have slid into gangs, drugs, petty crime and in a few instances, extremism
France outlawed the hijab causing much protest
-Two major French political parties;
-Socialist Party - (Current party of President) Center-Leftist Party, Socialist Democracy, Pro-EU, 167 MP's
Union for a Popular Movement - (Former party of power, controls Parliament) Right opposition, Liberal Conservativism, Christian Democracy, Nationalism, 271 MP's
France has a history of being dominated by the Romans
It was then conquered by the Franks
Charlemagne led the Holy Roman Empire which included France
Post-Charlemagne, chaos ensued until unification and centralization
Estates General weakened feudalism and increased
French Absolutism ('L'etat c'est moi')
National Assembly:
Has power to overthrow executive with vote of no-confidence
If two houses cannot agree on a bill, the administration can give the final decision to the National Assembly
Responsible for monitoring day to day business of government

Less prominent than lower house-debates are less intense/covered in the media
Publishes various reports each year to monitor the administration
Specialize in constitutional matters and foreign affairs (ex. European integration)
Citizens, Society and State
Social Cleavages
Historical Background
Catholic Church became pillar of monarchy
After Huguenots, Henry of Navarre and Cardinal Richeliu ruled
aristocrats lost power and staged the Fronde
Like GB, France is a class-based society
Large gap between working and middle class
Limited social mobility--those born poor or Muslim have difficulty advancing economically
Mainly divided into three distinct groups:
Upper class (business/political elite, wealthy families)
Middle class (white-collar jobs)
Lower class (blue-collar jobs; unemployment and low living standards are common)
Reinforces other cleavages:
Left voters: working class, anticlerical, urban
Right voters: middle class, pro-church, rural
Video on France before election:
-Desired change before election because of economic, social, and welfare issues
Louis XIV furthered absolutism and was his own prime minister
The French were the model of an ostensibly impressive monarchy
secretly unstable
Historical Background
-Most Recent election, 2012;
-Change of party to socialist
-New/current president: Francoise Hollande (51.64% of 2nd round)
The French Revolution
Reasons for Revolution
support for American Revolution
corrupt bureacracy
poor economic choices
industry under state protection
jealousy between classes during recovery
Estates General (clergy, nobility, commoners) convened to National Assembly
Historical Background
The French Revolution
Catholicism is primary religion, historically led to conflicts between Catholics and Huguenots
Today government practices laïcité, keeping religion out of public life, however:
Most anticlericalists are on the political left (including socialists)
Gaullists, or followers of French political ideology based on thoughts of Charles de Gaulle, are mainly on the conservative right and support pro-Church positions
Issues such as abortion and state control of Church schools cause much protest
Storming of the Bastille
Began constitutional monarchy
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
National Assembly
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
Reign of Terror
Failed Constitution led to Napoleon
Political Socialization
-elements of political socialization are part of a broad tradition within France and helps to shape development and re-interpret its history-elements are: family, education, occupation and media
-very skeptical about outsiders and neighbors, but there is a strong sense of trust in family which is the most important element or society
-trust demonstrated in opinion polls in 1994 78% had no confidence in schools preparing them for their future and 75% believed their families prepared the well for the future and held confidence in them
-changes in families over 40 years include births out of wedlock (30%), increased divorce rate (40%), and changes in the status of women (1970 equality between men and women)
-more than 80% or women work and 46% of labour force is women: impacts socialization because women that work outside of the home are likely to differ in regard to religious and moral outlooks, and especially political outlook (beliefs similar to male contemporaries and are a powerful voice in socialization process)
-vital in the transmission of cultural values and civilization -strong degree of centralization: Ministry of Education controls curriculum, teaching methods, selecting and promoting teachers and students, and the content of exams-students attend school until they are 16 and more than 50% move on to secondary school -school system has dramatically expanded under the fifth republic -Grande Ecoles: graduates of these schools immediately placed and take positions among French elite-ENA: est. 1946 with aim of training elite of French civil servants and is very influential within the French system -produces many of France’s political leaders (100-150 students emitted each year from upper and middle class)
-French have tighter controls on the media compared to the West: it is a felony to publish statements damaging to the President or public authorities, police have the right to “undertake all acts necessary with a view to preventing crimes and violations of the...security of the state”-authorities have power to harass newspapers/media they feel are overly critical- most important papers: Le Monde (liberal), Le Figaro (conservative), L’Humanite (Comm), International Herald Tribune (English Language)-TV and radio were originally the most popular form of media - until 1982, all radio and television stations were owned by the state, but since then TV has been largely privatized with only two of the top seven stations being owned by the state-media changes: allowed free advertising to all political parties during election campaigns
Political Culture
Distrust of the government and politics: characterized by conflict between monarchists and republicans
Desire for individualism and equality
More faith in family and the region then in the national government
Mayors and local officials remain far more popular and more trusted than national officials
Desire for dramatic change:
Revolution and succeeding Republics created desire for dramatic, not evolutionary change in French culture
Sense of instability due to different constitutions resulting from international causes or domestic events: both result in major crisis
Prior to the Fifth Republic, the French constitutions were usually only satisfactory to one segment of the public
Legitimacy derived from intense national pride in history and abstract symbols
Political Participation
Citizens participate mainly through voting (percentages generally very high)
Vote on local, regional, and national levels and participation at national levels have never fallen below 71% or registered voters
Older, better educated people of higher income groups are the most likely to vote
Large number of political parties, but over the years they have become broader based or formed coalitions
Women and voting has been the most significant change: voting patterns alternate between the left (before 1958 and 1980s to present) and right (1958-1980s)
“party law”: requires all political parties to run an equal number of men and women candidates
-2007 Election; Sarkozy Wins
Napoleon named first Consul
Then named Emperor for life
Extreme Censorship
Battle of Trafalgar
Abdication then comes back
Battle of Waterloo
2nd Republic with new constitution elected Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III)
Sources of Power and Legitimacy
Declaration of the Rights of Citizen and Man
Revolutionary origins and the decline of absolutism
Storming of the Bastille
Liberty, Fraternity, Equality
Edict of Nantes though most are Catholic
division of powers per constitution
Third Republic
National Assembly voted on Third Republic
industrialization and social welfare
France occupied by Nazi Germany
left France in shambles
Charles de Gaulle led insurrection and became president
led new constitution and 5th republic
The Three Estates
The Three Principles
"Audacity, audacity, it's always audacity"
(originally said in French)
--Malcolm Mosley
Full transcript