Political Science 2 – Comparative Politics - Power Point #6
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 2 Modern World Governments – Fall 2012 Power Point Presentation – October 2nd & October 4th
COURSE LECTURE TOPICSThis Week’s Lecture Covers:•The United Kingdom Policy Changes Facing Britain The Environment Of Politics The Legacy Of History The Structure Of Government The Cabinet And Cabinet Ministers Political Culture & Legitimacy Political Socialization &Political Participation Organizing Group Interests Party System & Electoral Choice Central Authority & Decentralized Delivery Of Policies Policy Outcomes & Challenges In Society
COURSE LECTURE: WEEK #6 (2)•France Current Policy Challenges A Historical Perspective Economy & Society Constitution & Governmental Structure Political Culture Political Socialization Recruitment & Style Of Elites Interest Groups Political Parties Patterns Of Voting Policy Processes The State & Territorial Relations Performance & Prospects
COURSE LECTURE: WEEK #6 (3)Reading Assignments For Week #6•Textbook: “Comparative Politics Today” Chapters 8 & 9 From “Comparative Politics Today” Review Key Terms For Chapters 8 & 9
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 8 (1)1. Cabinet2. Centralization3. Class4. Conservative Party5. Crown6. Decentralization7. Devolution8. Downing Street9. First Past The Post (Electoral System)10. Government11. House Of Lords12. Individualist Theory13. Insiders Pressure Groups14. Interest Group Theory
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 8 (3)28. Trusteeship Theory Of Government29. United Kingdom30. Unwritten Constitution31. Wales32. Westminster33. Whitehall
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 9 (1)1. Baccalaureat2. Blocked Vote3. Bonaparte, Napoleon4. Buffet, Marie-George5. Cabinet (Government)6. Chirac, Jacques7. Communes8. Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail (CFDT)9. Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT)10. Constitution Of 195811. Constitutional Council12. Council Of Ministers13. Council Of State
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 9 (2)14. Cumul Des Mandats (accumulation of electoral offices)15. De Gaulle, Charles16. Departments17. Demonstrations Of May-June 196818. Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA)19. Ecole Polytechnique20. European Union (EU)21. European Community Before 199222. Federation de’l’Education Nationale (FEN)23. Federation Nationale des Syndicats Agricoles (FNSEA)24. Fifth Republic25. Force Ouvriere (FO)26. Fourth Republic
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 9 (2)27. French Communist Party (PCF)28. G-1029. Grandes Ecoles30. Grands Corps31. Jospin, Lionel32. Juppe, Alain33. Le Pen, Jean-Marie34. Maastricht Treaty35. Marchais, Georges36. Mitterand, Francois37. Motion Of Censure38. Mouvement Des Entreprises de France (MEDEF)39. Muslims40. National Assembly
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 9 (3)41. National Front (FN)42. Nationalization43. Neocorporatism44. “New” Immigration45. Ordinances46. Political Class47. Prefect48. President Of The Republic49. Prime Minister50. Privatization51. Rally For The Republic (RPR)52. Referendums53. Regions54. Royal, Segolene
COMPARATIVE POLITICS TODAY KEY TERMS FOR CHAPTER 9 (4)55. Sarkozy, Nicolas56. Senate57. Socialist Party (PS)58. Union For French Democracy (UDF)59. Union For A Popular Movement (UMP)
COUNTRY BIO: UNITED KINGDOM• Pop: 59.6 million • Religion:• Territory: 94,525 sq. miles – Anglican: 26.1 million• Year of Independence: 12th century – Roman Catholic: 5.7 million• Constitution: unwritten; partly – Presbyterian: 2.6 million statutes, partly common law and – Methodist: 1.3 million practice – Other Christian: 2.6 million• Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II – Muslim: 1.5 million• Head of Government: Prime Minister – Hindu: 500,000 Tony Blair – Sikh: 330,000• Language: English, plus about – Jewish: 260,000 600,000 who regularly speak Welsh – Other: 300,000 and 60,000 who speak the Scottish – No religion: 8.6 million form of Gaelic – Did not state a religion: 4.4 million
UNITED KINGDOM• Old democracy• Britain did not become a democracy overnight. – Evolution not revolution – Democratization was a slow process – Contrasts with the dominant European practice of countries switching between democratic and undemocratic regimes
POLICY CHALLENGES FACING BRITAIN• Thatcher and Blair governments – Opened Britain up to international trade – Forced the British economy to become more competitive• Problems – Maintaining economic growth – Fighting crime – Multiculturalism – Blair government: too much “emphasis on selling” – Who will succeed him in the Labour Party? – What of the Conservative Party? • Cameron
POLICY CHALLENGES FACING BRITAIN• Liberal Democratic Party – Closest approximation to a “left” party that Britain has today• General Election• Where does Britain belong? How should it act? – Leading world power or small neutral country? • 49% favored being a small neutral power; 34% world power
POLICY CHALLENGES FACING BRITAIN• British Empire• Commonwealth – Antigua and Australia to Zambia and Zimbabwe differ from each other in many ways including their commitment to democracy.• Special relationship with U.S.• Britain’s world position has declined• European Community (1957) – now the EU – Britain did not join until 1973. – Created more policy challenges: beer in metric units or a British pint
THE ENVIRONMENT OF POLITICS• One Crown but five nations – United Kingdom • Great Britain and Ireland created in 1801 • Great Britain, the principal part of the UK was divided into England, Scotland and Wales. – Wales – Scotland – Northern Ireland » The remainder of Ireland rebelled against the Crown in 1916 and a separate Irish state with its capital in Dublin was recognized in 1921.
THE ENVIRONMENT OF POLITICS• A union: a political system having only one source of authority, the British Parliament• National identity – UK is a multinational state• Historically, Scotland and Wales have been governed by British Cabinet ministers accountable to the Westminster Parliament. – In May, 1999, a Scottish Parliament with powers to legislate, tax, and spend was first elected to sit in Edinburgh. • 129 seat Parliament • Mixed system: first pas the post and proportional ballots. – Welsh Parliament (1999) • 60 seat Welsh Assembly; Mixed system – Northern Ireland is the most un-English part of the UK • Formally a secular polity • National identity questions: Catholics and Protestants • In turmoil since 1968; IRA • British policy in N.Ireland has been erratic • Good Friday Agreement
A MULTIRACIAL BRITAIN• Relatively small but noteworthy number of immigrants from other parts of Europe• The worldwide British Empire was multi-racial but not democratic. – It is now a multiracial commonwealth. – These immigrants have only one characteristic in common: they are not white. – 2001 census estimated the nonwhite population of the UK had risen from 74,000 to 4.6 million – 2006 the Home Office minister (immigration control) admitted that there were hundred of thousands of illegal immigrants in Britain. – British born offspring of immigrants largely see themselves as British, but many do not. Only 2/5s of Chinese identify as Chinese.• Since 9/11 Labour’s focus has been to stress the integration of immigrant families into the British way of life.• Response to terrorist attacks: increase police powers; restrictions on asylum seekers; deportation made easier
THE LEGACY OF HISTORY• Britain has a long past; limits current choices – General positive legacy – Great continuity of political institutions• When did it develop a modern system of government? – No agreement on this question – Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901)
The Legacy of History: Developments since WWII can be divided into five stages• 1944 - Churchill: mixed economy Keynesian welfare state• 1951-1965 – Churchill and the Conservative Party maintained a consensus about the welfare state – led to consumer prosperity. Failure to seize the Suez Canal.
The Legacy of History: Developments since WWII can be divided into five stages• Early 1960s – age of “hyper-innovation” – Labour Party- “Let’s go with Labor” – 1970s Heath’s Conservative government – Britain becomes member of the European Community• Fourth stage: Thatcher’s radical break with both the Wilson and Heath policies – Thatcher never won more than 43% of the total vote but division within the other parties helped her win. – But public spending continued to grow in her era. – Autocratic governing style; replaced by John Major• Fifth state; Tony Blair – Labour leader in 1994. – 2nd longest serving prime minister of the past century – Successor
The Structure of Government• Descriptions of a government often start with its constitution. – England never had a written constitution. – Unwritten constitution • Vagueness makes it flexible • Few constraints in an unwritten constitution compared to a written one – U.S. Constitution amendment procedure – Britain: can be changed by majority vote in Parliament or by the government of the day choosing to act in an unprecedented manner – English courts claim no power to declare an act of Parliament unconstitutional.
THE CROWN AND GOVERNMENT• Crown rather than a constitution symbolizes the authority of government. – Monarch only ceremonial head of state.• What constitutes the Crown? – Government – Government officials – Whitehall – Downing Street – Parliament – Collectively referred to as Westminster
THE PRIME MINISTER• Prime minister – Primus inter pares – Imperatives of the prime minister • Winning elections • Campaigning through the media • Patronage • Parliamentary performance • Making and balancing policies
THE CABINET AND CABINET MINISTERS• Consists of senior ministers appointed by the prime minister. They must be either members of the House of Commons or of the House of Lords.• No longer a place for collective deliberation about policies.• Remain important as department heads• Major Whitehall departments differ greatly from each other – Home Office – Home Secretary – Treasury – Chancellor of the Exchequer• Political reputation of Cabinet ministers depends on their success in promoting the interests of their department in parliament, in the media and in battles within Whitehall.
THE CIVIL SERVICE• Largest number of civil servants are clerical staff with little discretion.• The most important group of civil servants is the smallest – Advise ministers and oversee work of their departments – Top civil servants are bipartisan, being ready to work for whichever party is the winner of an election – Thatcher: focus on making civil service more businesslike • Save money for tax cuts – Blair continued to focus on businesslike civil service but with the goal of providing more public services without raising taxes.
THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENT• The principal division in Parliament is between the party with a majority of seats in the House of Commons and the opposition party. – If a bill or motion is identified as a vote of confidence in the government, the government will fall if it is defeated. – MPs from the majority party generally vote as the party leadership instructs • Only by voting as a bloc can their party maintain control of government • If you vote against, it is a “rebellion” – Whitehall departments draft bills presented to Parliament – Government rather than Parliament sets the budget
THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENT• Functions of MPs – First, weigh political reputations – MPs in the governing party have private access to the government ministers. • Role of the whip – Third, publicizing issues – Scrutinizing legislation – Examine how Whitehall departments administer public policies
THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENT• House of Lords – Unique as a second chamber because it was initially composed of hereditary peers – 1999 the Labour government abolished the right of all but 92 hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords • Big majority of its members are life peers who have been given a lifelong title for achievement in one or another public sphere • No party has a majority there • 750 members – Government often introduces relatively noncontroversial legislation in the Lords if it deals with technical matters – Uses the Lords as a revising chamber to amend bills – Lords cannot veto legislation, but it can and does amend or delay the passage of some government bills
THE ROLE OF PARLIAMENT• The limited influence of both houses of Parliament encourages proposals for reform.• Controversies around the House of Lords – Necessary but… – Legitimacy issues
GOVERNMENT AS NETWORK• Within the Whitehall network, a core set of political figures are especially important in determining policies. – Prime minister – Chancellor of the Exchequer, head of the Treasury
POLITICAL CULTURE AND LEGITIMACY• Trusteeship theory of government• Interest group theory• Individualist theory
THE LEGITIMACY OF GOVERNMENT• Evidenced by the readiness of the British people to comply with basic political laws• Not related to economic calculations• Symbols of a common past, such as the monarchy, are sometimes cited as major determinants of legitimacy.• Habit and tradition
ABUSES OF POWER• Power of the government to get away with mistakes is support by – Official secrecy – Doctrine of collective cabinet responsibility• Examples of misleading parliament and the people• Distrust of elected representatives• Decline in ministerial accountability to parliament
CULTURE AS A CONSTRAINT ON POLICY• The values of the political culture impose limitations on the scope of public policy. – Cultural norms about freedom of speech prevent political censorship. – Today, the most significant limits on the scope of public policy are practical and political. • Health care limited by the economy and the reluctance to raise taxes
POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION• Socialization influences the political division of labor. – Family and Gender – Education – Class – Mass Media
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION• The wider the definition of political participation, the greater the number who can be said to be involved.• The most politically involved are no more than 1/10 of the electorate. – Those who say they are interested in politics, take part in a demonstration or are active in a party or pressure group.
POLITICAL RECRUITMENT• The most important political roles in Britain are those of Cabinet minister, higher civil servant, partisan advisers, and intermittent public persons (experts).• Each group has its own recruitment pattern.• Selective recruitment
ORGANIZING GROUP INTERESTS• Civil society (institutions independent of government) has flourished in Britain for centuries. – Confederation of British Industries – Big business- direct contacts with Whitehall and with ministers – Trades Union Congress
WHAT INTEREST GROUPS WANT• Most interest groups pursue four goals: – Information about government policies and changes in policies – Sympathetic administration of established policies – Influence on policymaking – Symbolic status• Reciprocal benefits to government – Cooperation in administering and implementing policies – Information about what is happening in their field – Evaluation of the consequences of policies under consideration – Support for government initiatives
ORGANIZING FOR POLITICAL ACTION IN CIVIL SOCIETY• Insider pressure groups• Outsider pressure groups• State-distancing strategy – Less reliance on negotiations with interest groups and more on independent authority of the Crown
PARTY SYSTEM AND ELECTORAL CHOICE• A general election must occur at least once every five years• Within that period, the prime minister is free to call an election at any time.• Winner is the candidate who is first past the post (plurality)• The winner nationally is the party that gains the most constituency seats.• Two party system• Multiparty system• To win a substantial number of seats in the House of Commons, a party must either gain at least one-third of the popular vote nationally or concentrate its votes in a limited number of constituencies. – The distribution of seats in the House of Commons different from the distribution of the share of votes – May have as little as 35 percent of the popular vote
CONTROL OF PARTY ORGANIZATION• Much of the work of party organizations is devoted to keeping together three disparate parts of the party: – Those who vote for it; – The minority who are active in its constituency associations; – And the party in Parliament.
CONTROL OF PARTY ORGANIZATION• Each British party leader is elected by rules that differ from party to party. – Labor Party • Electoral college composed of three groups: Labour MPs, constituency party members, and trade unions – Conservative Party • Until 1965 the party leader was not elected but “emerged” as a result of consultation among senior MPs and peers. Since then they have elected their leader. • First a ballot among Conservative MPs; then the two MPs with the most votes are then voted on by the party membership at large – Liberal Democrats • Have a small central organization • Candidates for leadership are nominated by Liberal MPs and the leadership is determined by vote of the party’s membership. – Party leader is strongest when he or she is also prime minister.
PARTY IMAGES AND APPEALS• While the terminology of the left and right is part of the language of elite politicians, it is rejected by the great majority of British voters. – Median voter tends to choose the central position – Only a tenth place themselves on the far left or far right – Much consensus among voters on a variety of issues – Big divisions in contemporary British politics often cut across party lines • European Union • Iraq War – Parties increasingly emphasize collectivist economic interests and consensual goals.
PARTY IMAGES AND APPEALS• In office, the governing party has the votes to enact any parliamentary legislation it wishes, regardless of protests by the opposition. – For every government bill that the opposition votes against on principle in the House of Commons, three are adopted with interparty agreement.• New governments must also enforce the laws enacted by the previous governments.
CENTRAL AUTHORITY AND DECENTRALIZED DELIVERY OF POLICIES• In a unitary state, political authority is centralized. – They are binding on all public agencies through Acts of Parliament and regulations prepared in Whitehall. – Delivery of services • Turning good intentions into a program takes time and money. • Running the Whitehall obstacle race is the first step in intra-governmental politics. – Because of Treasury control of public expenditure, before a bill can be put to Parliament, the Treasury must authorize the additional expenditures required, because increased spending implies increased taxation. – A departmental minister must pilot a bill through Parliament. • If controversial, attacks from the Opposition and a host of amendments designed to test the minister’s understanding of a policy. – Minister may also negotiate agreement with public agencies outside Whitehall, and with affected interest groups.
CENTRAL AUTHORITY AND DECENTRALIZED DELIVERY OF POLICIES• Local government is subordinate to central government and in Scotland and Wales to devolved representative assemblies.• Local council elections are fought on party lines.• Local government is usually divided into two tiers of county and district councils, each with responsibility for some local services. – Jumble of more or less local institutions delivering such public services as education, police protection, refuse collection, housing, and cemeteries.• Central government financial grants are the largest source of local government revenue.• Both Conservative and Labour parties are centralist. – Centralization is justified in terms of territorial justice.
CENTRAL AUTHORITY AND DECENTRALIZED DELIVERY OF POLICIES• Devolution• Executive agencies – National Health Service (NHS)• Quangos – Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organizations • Advisory Committees • Administrative Tribunals• Turning to the Market – Privatization
CENTRAL AUTHORITY AND DECENTRALIZED DELIVERY OF POLICIES• Civil service has relied on trust in delivering policies.• Trust has been replaced by contracts.• Theory of British government is centralist. – All roads lead to Downing Street; influence is contingent - it varies with the problem at hand• Public policy matters• Government relies on three major resources to produce the benefits of public policy: laws, money, and personnel. – Social security most costly program of the British government – Stealth taxes
POLICY OUTCOMES AND CHANGES IN SOCIETY• In an open society, like that of Britain, social conditions are a consequence of the interaction of public policies, the national and international economy, the not-for-profit institutions of civil society, and individual and household activities free of state control. – Defense is a unique responsibility of government. – Crime prevention • Policing AND whether there are lots of unemployed youths ready to violate the laws in pursuit of money. – British economy has grown since WWII. – Living standards are high. – Everyone makes use of publicly financed health and education services.
POLICY OUTCOMES AND CHANGES IN SOCIETY• Popular expectations – Generally low • Decades of economic difficulties have lowered expectations of what government can do to make the economy grow or prevent unemployment. • British people do not hold government responsible for what is most important in their lives – Personal circumstances are evaluated very differently from public policy.
COUNTRY BIO: FRANCE• Pop: 60.4 million • Religion:• Territory: 211,208 sq. miles – Roman Catholic: 89.5%• Year of Independence: 486 – Muslim: 7.5%• Year of Current Constitution: – Protestant: 2% 1958 – Jewish: 1%• Head of State: President Jacques Chirac• Head of Government: Prime Minister Dominque De Villepin• Language: French 100%
CURRENT POLICY CHALLENGES• 2006: French voters were worried about unemployment, crime, and urban violence. – Have had high unemployment rates – Questions regarding French membership in the European Union – Concerned about political corruption – Issues of multiculturalism – Anti-American sentiment
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE• One of the oldest nation-states of Europe• French Revolution began with the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 1791 (the First Republic) – Three more constitutions – Napoleon – Restoration of Bourbons – House of Orleans – Paris Revolution in 1848
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE• Second Republic (1848-1852) – Universal male suffrage – Napoleon III – Franco Prussian War• Third Republic (1871) – WWII deeply divided France – Charles de Gaulle• Fourth Republic (1946-1958) – 24 governments in 12 years• Fifth Republic (1958 onward)
ECONOMY AND SOCIETY• Mixed geography• More than 3.6 million non-citizens live in France (North Africa and Africa)• 2 million French citizens are foreign born• Urbanization came slowly• Most of the urban population lives in and around Paris• Strong economic development – Ranks among the wealthiest of advanced industrial countries • Inflation and unemployment – Labor force changes – Agriculture – Privatization
CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE• Constitution of 1958• Parliamentary government – The Executive • President of the Republic – Placed above parties – Worked with Parliament, the Cabinet, the people – Could appeal to the people in two ways: » Submit legislation to the electorate for referendum » Could dissolve Parliament and call for new elections – Presidential powers used sparingly » Emergency power – Direct popular elections • Prime minister
THE LEGISLATURE• Composed of two houses – National Assembly • 577 members • Elected directly for 5 years by all citizens over 18 • Committees/specialized deputies – Senate • 331 members • Elected indirectly from department constituencies for a term of six years – Half every three years – Two houses are not equal in either power or influence
THE JUDICIARY• Until the Fifth Republic, France had no judicial check on the constitutionality of the actions of its political authorities.• Constitutional Council – Safeguard against legislative erosion – Constitutional amendment in 1974
POLITICAL CULTURE• Themes in political culture – The burden of history – Abstraction and symbolism – Distrust of government and history
RELIGIOUS AND ANTIRELIGIOUS TRADITIONS• Both Catholic and “dechristianized” – Conflict between the two – Revolution of 1789 – Political right and left determined by attitudes toward the Catholic Church – Secularization – French Jews – Protestants – Muslims • New immigration
CLASS AND STATUS• Social class – Workers/working class – Strong feelings regarding belonging to a social class – Class conscious – Willing to demonstrate – Traditional class differences reinforced by growing sense of racial and ethnic differences
POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION• Family• Associations• Education – Baccalaureat – Open admission – Grandes ecoles• Socialization and communication – Mass media – Decline in newspaper readership – Television
RECRUITMENT AND STYLE OF ELITES• Political class – Modest social origins – Changes in political recruitment – Civil service • Grand corps • Hereditary class – Tight network
IMPORTANCE OF GENDER• Low representation of women among French political elites• Political advancement requires deep investment in parties – Segolene Royal • Graduate of the ENA • Member of the Council of State – Dearth of women’s representation recognized but not addressed
INTEREST GROUPS: THE EXPRESSION OF INTERESTS• No more than 8 percent of workers belonged to trade unions – Decline• Economic groups surge during dramatic moments in history• Most groups have limited resources• Labor movement• Business interests• Agricultural interests
MEANS OF ACCESS AND STYLES OF ACTION• Parliament – Most convenient means to access – Constitution of 1958• Neocorporatism• Professional organizations versus interest groups• State interest group collaboration• French state subsidizes interest groups• Protests
PARTIES: THE TRADITIONAL PARTY SYSTEM• Right and left• Electoral system of the Fifth Republic favors simplification of political alignments• French party organizations skeletal – Fragmentary – Modest linkage between national and local – Party membership low• Party system became more competitive in 1980s• Main political parties dominate the organization of parliamentary work and the selection of candidates – Less important as mass membership organizations
THE MAIN PARTIES: THE RIGHT AND CENTER• Union for a Popular Movement• Union for French Democracy• The National Front
THE LEFT• The Socialist Party – Lionel Jospin – Plural left – Cumul des mandats• The Communists – French Communist Party – Georges Marchais – Marie-George Buffet
PATTERNS OF VOTING• France- unitary state – Elections held with considerable frequency at every territorial level – Communes – First European country to enfranchise a mass electorate – Women age 21 and older granted the vote in 1944 – Voting age lowered to 18 in 1974
ELECTORAL PARTICIPATION AND ABSTENTION• Rising abstention – Voters’ confidence in all parties has declined – Abstention cyclical – Few permanent abstainers• Voting – In parliamentary election – In referendums – In presidential elections
POLICY PROCESSES: THE EXECUTIVE• Two-headed executive – President derives authority from direct popular elections – Prime minister from majority support in the National Assembly• Long years of political affinity between the holders of the two offices solidified and amplified presidential powers and shaped constitutional powers that had a lasting impact• From the beginning of the Fifth Republic, the president was not only formally appointed to Parliament the prime minister proposed to him, but he also chose the prime minister and the other Cabinet ministers.• Since all powers proceeded from the president, the government headed by the prime minister became an administrative body until 1986.• Council of Ministers – chaired by the president
POLICY PROCESSES: THE EXECUTIVE• Prime minister is more than first among equals• Cohabitation• 1986-1988 and from 1993-1995: conservative majority controlled Parliament and the president was a Socialist• 1997 to 2002: left held parliamentary majority and the president was from a conservative party• President continued to occupy the foreground in foreign and military affairs.• Prime minister became the effective leader of the executive and pursued government objectives.
POLICY PROCESSES: THE EXECUTIVE• Limits to executive power – Role of policy failures – Other ministers’ involvement – Role of networks• Two different patterns exist for sharing executive power – When majorities are identical; prime minister is subordinate – Under conditions of cohabitation, the prime minister clearly gains dominant authority at the expense of the president.
POLICY PROCESSES: THE PARLIAMENT• Constitution curtains the powers of Parliament: – As a source of legislation – As an organ of executive control – Blocked vote, Article 44 – Ordinances, Article 38 – Motion of censure, Article 49, Section 3 • Used infrequently; virtually excludes Parliament from meaningful participation in the legislative process
POLICY PROCESSES: THE PARLIAMENT• Devices for enhancing the role of Parliament – Extended sessions – Weekly question period – Television cameras – Power to amend – General support that French citizens give their elected deputies• Role of Senate – Delay legislation – Some situations where their accord is necessary • Constitutional amendment – Criticisms of the Senate
CHECKS AND BALANCES• No tradition of judicial review• Constitutional Council – Considerable impact – Judicial restraint• Council of State
THE STATE AND TERRITORIAL RELATIONS• Unitary state• France divided into 100 departments (about the size of a U.S. county)• Each is under the administrative responsibility of a prefect and has a directly elected general council.• Grouped into 22 regions• Centralization versus the process of decentralization• Powers
PERFORMANCE AND PROSPECTS: A WELFARE STATE• France has a mediocre record for spreading benefits among all its citizens.• Emergence of long term unemployment
PERFORMANCE AND PROSPECTS: A WELFARE STATE• Concentration of wealth• Distribution of taxes: the share of indirect taxes – such as the VAT and excise taxes- remains far higher in France than in other industrialized countries• Indirect taxes not only drive up prices but also weigh most heavily on the poor.• Most effective in the area of social transfers – Relatively low poverty rates – High level of quality medical services and public services
NATIONALIZATION AND REGULATION• Government-operated business enterprises – Railroads; almost all energy production; and much of the telecommunication; most air and maritime transport; most of the aeronautic industry; 85 percent of bank deposits; 40 percent of insurance premiums; one-third of the auto industry, and one-third of the housing industry• Privatization• Deregulation of the economy• Other areas of regulation – Environment – immigration
OUTLOOK: FRANCE AND THE NEW ARCHITECTURE OF EUROPE• Main concerns that dominated French politics 30 years ago have changed dramatically.• Political cleavages based on new conflicts are emerging.• Immigration• Cold War• Common Market• Rejection of the European Constitutional Treaty• Problem of identity in an expanding European Union and an independent world