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The end of ambiguity? The four phases of the French 5th Republic

Abstract : This paper adopts a long-term view of the Fifth Republic. We argue that there are historically two partly contradictory readings of the institutions created by the constitution of 1958: a presidential and a partisan reading. The first grants the president the role of a consensual arbiter at the heart of the executive. The partisan reading or logic puts the parties at the centre stage of a more parliamentary political system with the president as some kind of super prime minister. Both logics have co-existed in permanent tension. We show that the changing balance between the two logics has determined several successive phases in the evolution of French politics. We argue that the second logic has progressively supplanted the first. The constitutional revisions of 2000 and 2008 may, moreover, have institutionalised the partisan logic and presidentialisation of the Fifth Republic.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 12:57:39 PM
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Emiliano Grossman, Nicolas Sauger. The end of ambiguity? The four phases of the French 5th Republic. West European politics, 2009, 32 (2), pp.423 - 437. ⟨hal-02186641⟩