Structural Crisis and Institutional Change in Modern Capitalism
French Capitalism in Transition
Oxford University Press
Présentation de l'éditeur
This book analyses the evolution of the French model of capitalism in relation with the instability of the socio-political compromises. In the 2010s, France was in a situation of systemic crisis, manifested in the impossibility for political leadership to find a strategy of institutional change or more generally a model of capitalism that could gather a sufficient social and political support. This book analyses the various attempts at reforming the French model since the 1980s, when the left tried briefly to orient the French political economy in a social-democratic/socialist direction before changing course and opting for a more orthodox macroeconomic and structural policy. The attempts of the right governments to implement a radically neoliberal structural policy also failed in the face of a significant social opposition. The enduring French systemic crisis is the expression of contradictions between the economic policies implemented by the successive left and right governments, and the existence of a dominant social bloc—a coalition of social groups that supports the dominant political strategy. Since 1978, both the right and the left have failed to find a solution to the contradictions between the policies they implemented and the expectations of their respective social bases, which are themselves inhabited by tensions and contradictions that evolve with the structural reforms that gradually transformed French capitalism. The direction taken by the Hollande presidency after 2012 represented an important change with respect to the preceding left governments. More than his predecessors, Hollande decidedly oriented his economic and political strategies in a neoliberal direction, looking for social support articulated around the skilled middle and upper classes, the bloc bourgeois.