The Political Process in Modern France: Society and Power

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2023-67-8-37-47
N. Lapina,
Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences (INION RAS), 51/21, Nakhimovskii Prosp., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 19.04.2023. Revised 03.05.2023. Accepted 17.05.2023.

Abstract. In modern France, power and society are developing in different directions. President E. Macron has built a rigid “vertical of power”, which was further strengthened under the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Power in France has exceptional autonomy and an ability to make and implement decisions that do not have public support. The president can implement reforms by decree, and the prime minister – relying on the Article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows laws to be passed without a vote in parliament. Society, in turn, has become more demanding in the field of obtaining individual rights and expanding political rights. While power was growing more and more “vertical”, society developed in the opposite direction. The individual rights of citizens have expanded (legalization of same-sex unions and sex change); French citizens have become more demanding of representative institutions and politicians. It is customary to consider French society depoliticized. In reality, modern French people, even if they don’t go to the polls and don’t trust political parties, are interested in politics. The mood of “critical citizenship” has become widespread in society, an increasing number of citizens would like to participate in political decision-making, and the ideas of direct democracy are very popular. The multidirectional development of society and power inevitably gives rise to a systemic socio-political conflict. The protests against raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 that unfolded in France in 2023 were a continuation of the protest movements of past years. Three scenarios for the development of the political situation in France are formulated: normalization; political crisis and way out of it; renewal of the political regime.

Keywords: France, E. Macron, Fifth Republic, pension reform, society, power, elites, political process


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For citation:
Lapina N. The Political Process in Modern France: Society and Power. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2023, vol. 67, no. 8, pp. 37-47. EDN: VHUNBZ

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