on key challenges for French democracy – recent updates

Decline of party democracy

France moves to mass surveillance (july 2015)

UMP changes name to Les Republicains (May 2015)

Sarkozy does well in local polls; represents significant comeback (March 2015) – more discussion here; and heavy defeat for left

another scandal: anti-Sarkozy plot (Nov 2014)

UMP funding scandal (June 2014) and Sarkozy held by authorities (June 2014) and more here on Sarkozy corruption scandal and more and on risk of jail; and (later) on Sarkozy’s return to French politics (Oct 2014) and re-elected as leader of UMP (Nov 2014) (more here and here)

Discussion of pitiful state of French party democracy (Nov 2013) and more here on implications of decline of 2 main parties for opportunities for far right (July 2014)

Rise of the far right and populist parties – more recent updates here

Jean-Marie Le Pen threatens to tear apart the party (May 2015) – and Review of J.M. Le Pen’s career (May 2015) – and here Marine seeks to expel him from the party (July 2015)

successful May Day march for FN (May 2015)

on row between Marine and Jean-Marie – here, here, here (April 2015) – resolved in favour of Marine – broader discussion of implications here – and here an argument that the episode most favoured Marion Marechal-Le Pen – and in May 2015 Jean-Marie eventually suspended from party

Le Pen promises referendum on French EU exit if wins presidential election

national front comes second in local polls (March 2015)

funding scandal for FN (March 2015)

Le Pen sets out agenda for 2017 presidential campaign (currently favourite) (March 2015)

analysis of FN – a party with no past? – and on its way to power (Jan 2015) – and how Charlie Hebdo could lead to increased support

FT interview with Vice-President of FN (on seeking votes from left) (Jan 2015)

poll: French see Le Pen as most effective anti-Hollande vote (Nov 2014) (source, in French, here)

on French Front de Gauche: here  

how the far right entered French Senate and here (Sep 2014)

Le Pen would beat Hollande in poll (Sep 2014)

intra-FN spat – Le Pen vs. Le Pen (June 2014)

Le Pen victory in EP elections leaves French political class in shock (June 2014)

J.M. Le Pen and the Ebola comment (May 2014)

discussion of FN ahead of EP elections (14.5.14)

strong gains for far right in another round of local elections (25.3.14)

big gains for far right in local elections (14.10.13)

academic articles

Marine Le Pen and the “New” FN: A Change of Style or of Substance?’, Parliamentary Affairs, 66, 1, 2013, 179-196

Centre left parties – more recent updates here

Hollande pushes for greater European integration and EU economic govenrment (again) (July 2015)

HOllande tames socialists (June 2015)

blow to socialists as they come third in local polls (March 2015)

Valls government to push through labour market reforms (March 2015) – and again in June uses constitutional clause to override own party’s opposition to liberalising measures

Hollande overrides parliament to push through reforms (Feb 2015) and here

Valls survives vote of no confidence – and here (Feb 2015)

75% tax cut promise dropped (Jan 2015)

on French left’s untapped strength (Dec 2014)

Valls pushes ahead with liberalising reforms despite protests (incl. from own party) (Dec 2014) and more

Commission attacks Hollande over lack of reforms (Nov 2014)

Hollande admits to mistakes (Nov 2014)

Holllande rules out further spending cuts (Sep 2014) at the same time as warning current cuts will be painful; Valls unveils programme of deregulation (oct 2014)

Valls call for end to pilot strike (sep 2014)

socialists narrowly win confidence vote (15.9.14) – here, here

on collapse of support for Hollande (Sep 2014) and overview of ongoing crisis (most voters want him to resign (Sep 2014) and more here

cabinet dissolved amid internal crisis/divisions for Socialist government (August 2014): NYT, FT (purge of left-wing), EUobserver – and then Valls unveils new cabinet (without left-wing) (more here on new cabinet) and unveils raft of pro-business/spending cuts/supply-side measures; whilst Hollande calls for more pro-growth policies at EU-level; and a discussion here on why the split could and should have been avoided

more pledge of tax cuts by Hollande (July 2014)

Fabius attacks own party’s tourist tax (June 2014)

opposition to Valls’ austerity plans from Parti Socialiste MPs (18.4.14) and Valls to set out plans for spending cuts (23.4.14)

defeat for socialists in local elections – Hollande fires PM (1.4.14) and resulting cabinet reshuffle sees increased left presence and another report on this local election defeat and a discussion here on the merits of appointing new PM Manuel Valls, which is confirmed by increased support for Valls (and decline for Hollande( (14.4.14) leading to Holland announcing that he won’t stand for re-election unless he turns economy around (6.5.14)

French socialists plan to capitalise on anti-EU sentiment (March 2014)

Hollande seeks to cut spending (Feb 2014)

Hollande reversing on fiscal policy – pledges tax cut (18.9.13)

welfare state

France to freeze welfare payments (April 2014)

welfare reforms to start with wealthier (June 2013)

varieties of capitalism – more recent here

French concessions given to rebellious farmers (july 2015)

port workers strike closes Calais for a second time (June 2015) – and again in July

HOlland moves to introduce more temporary jobs (June 2015)

French capitalism from employers’ perspective (May 2015)

here  (economist argues for need for labour market reforms)

Valls government to push through labour market reforms (March 2015)

on state of French economy (Jan 2015)

unemployment at record high (dec 2014) and again in Jan 2015

business opposes Hollande (Nov 2014)critique of Val

ls on labour market reform (Nov 2014)

Valls call for end to pilot strike (sep 2014)


Political participation – more recent articles here

French concessions given to rebellious farmers (july 2015)

port workers strike closes Calais for a second time (June 2015)

Unruly UberPop protests (June 2015) result in some sympathetic noises from Hollande

surveillance laws introduced (Apr 2015)

taxi protests gain concessions (Feb 2014)

farmers’ blockade (22.11.13)


The Comparative Politics of the Global Economic Crisis – more recent updates here

France to Brussesls – we’re reforming (May 2015)

data indicating stagnation (Apr 2015) and here  (economist argues for need for labour market reforms) and here  and here 

deficit down to 4% for 2014

France under pressure from Commission over debt (March 2015) and more and eventually gets 2-year reprieve and more here

Hollande overrides parliament to push through reforms (Feb 2015) and here

on state of French economy (Jan 2015)

France promises to lower deficit (dec 2014)

France, Italy, Belgium to get extra three months on deficit and debt (Nov 2014)

France unable to meet deficit target until 2017 (Sep 2014) and more detail here; and here on face-off (Oct 2014); and here on spat with Brussels (oct 2014) and here on eventual resolution

on France’s ongoing stagnation, and what Hollande might do about (August 2014)

new Finance minister wants slower pace of deficit reduction (4.4.14) and more discussion here but then backtracks and pledges to meet targets (14.4.14) and announcement that France to slow deficit reduction (but still meet 3% target by 2015) (23.4.14) and now set to miss deficit target (7.5.14)

France wary of EU bank reforms (31 Jan 2014)

discussion of prospects for French recovery (Jan 2014)

fall in unemployment (28.11.13)

Hollande government economic policy – tax reform (20.11.13)

recovery falters in France (15.11.13)

discussion of Hollande and economic policy (8.11.13)

protests against restrictions on opening times (1.10.13)

France: why such zeal (questions strong commitment to austerity in France)

academic articles:

Levy, J.D., 2017, ‘The return of the state? France’s response to the financial and economic crisis‘,  Comparative European Politics 15(4): 604-27. Available here.


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