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The French Welfare State: Surviving Social and Ideological Change

Edited by JOHN S. AMBLER
Copyright Date: 1991
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 284
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qfm7t
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    The French Welfare State
    Book Description:

    "An excellent introduction to issues surrounding the postwar French welfare state." - Archives "An important and groundbreaking book." - Martin A. Schain, New York University Little noticed by much of the world, France, during the 1960s and 1970s, developed into one of the most generous welfare states in the world. This book describes and explains this spectacular growth, and examines some of the problems that have emerged in its wake. The distinguished contributors to this volume are: Douglas E. Ashford (University of Pittsburgh), David R. Cameron (Yale University), Bruno Jobert (National Center for Scientific Research), Rmi Lenoir (University of Paris), Nathan H. Schwartz (University of Louisville), and David Wilsford (Georgia Institute of Technology).

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-0548-3
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-viii)
    John S. Ambler
  4. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. 1 IDEAS, INTERESTS, AND THE FRENCH WELFARE STATE
    (pp. 1-31)
    JOHN S. AMBLER

    The welfare state commonly is viewed as being a creation and creature of the Left, associated in the United States with the New Deal, in Britain with the postwar Labour government, and in Scandinavia with the political dominance of social democratic parties. This is an image that is nurtured by socialist leaders such as former Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy, who in 1986 prefaced a book by a former member of his staff with these words

    Our social protection was constructed by means of a permanent battle against conservatism and liberal dogmas, and it is primarily the Left that deserves the...

  6. 2 ADVANTAGES OF COMPLEXITY: SOCIAL INSURANCE IN FRANCE
    (pp. 32-57)
    DOUGLAS E. ASHFORD

    The nature of the French welfare state is poorly understood in most English-speaking countries for two reasons. First, the notion of a powerful, centralized French state has often captured the imagination of both French and non-French social scientists so that the vast organizations such as the social security system that straddle the public and private sectors receive less attention. More recent scholarship has begun to uncover the complex institutional links between the state and society that make arbitrary definition of “state” and “welfare state” hard to defend (Ashford 1986). Second, for many years France, rather like the United States, was...

  7. 3 CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN FRENCH SOCIAL POLICY: THE WELFARE STATE UNDER GAULLISM, LIBERALISM, AND SOCIALISM
    (pp. 58-93)
    DAVID R. CAMERON

    The French social security system has been described as an “unfinished cathedral” (Dumont 1978b). Like one of the great cathedrals in France, the system is a vast monument to an epoch. It is, as Ashford notes (1982, 228), replete with numerous chapels, altars, offices, and a few old relics—as well as the ever-present scaffolding for repair work and, of course, the numerous unobtrusive collection boxes for contributions. Like a cathedral, it is somewhat musty and poorly illuminated. But, like a cathedral, it offers refuge, sanctuary, and relief from the noise, din, and trauma of the world outside, and within...

  8. 4 THE CONTINUITY OF CRISIS: PATTERNS OF HEALTH CARE POLICYMAKING IN FRANCE, 1978–1988
    (pp. 94-143)
    DAVID WILSFORD

    The French health care system is characterized by a strong, centralized state authority. However, health professionals, especially physicians, are splintered into competing groups, constituting a weak, fragmented interest sector.

    This chapter is a revised version of a paper originally presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association/French Conference Group, 1–5 September 1988, Washington D.C. Translations from French are my own. My thanks go to John Ambler, Philip Cerny, Henry W. Ehrmann, Arend Lijphart, and Pascale Canlorbe Wilsford for suggestions and assistance. All unattributed quotations are taken from confidential interviews with the author.

    (Wilsford 1988a lays out...

  9. 5 FAMILY POLICY IN FRANCE SINCE 1938
    (pp. 144-186)
    RÉMI LENOIR

    It is a fact, though somewhat difficult to establish definitively, that France, along with Belgium, is the country that has accorded to the family the largest place in the ensemble of what society considers a matter of political life (Kamerman and Kahn 1978). In contrast to many nations at comparable levels of economic development, in France the family is a relevant category of political activity and administrative action.

    In France, aid to families has been the object of a veritable institutionalization, as seen in the fact that, particularly after the Liberation, the family has constituted a specific object of activity...

  10. 6 FRENCH HOUSING POLICIES IN THE EIGHTIES: COMPLEXITY, CONTINUITY, AND IDEOLOGY
    (pp. 187-231)
    NATHAN H. SCHWARTZ

    This paper examines the development of housing policy in France with a particular emphasis on the period from 1981, when François Mitterrand was elected to his first term as president of the Republic, through the period of “cohabitation” (1986–1988), when Prime Minister Jacques Chirac led a government of the Center and Right, through the announcement of the second budget (September 1989) of the Socialist government that took office in 1988 when Mitterrand won his second term as president.* It is a particularly interesting period, for at its outset, a socialist party long excluded from power came to office with...

  11. 7 DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL POLICIES: THE EXAMPLE OF FRANCE
    (pp. 232-258)
    BRUNO JOBERT

    To reconcile democracy and effective government constitutes one of the great challenges of our times. How can the law of the majority be prevented from leading to an indefinite expansion of the State for the purpose of establishing actual equality proportional to political equality? Both the theories and the practice of democracy have sketched out different solutions to this problem.

    For the elitist democratic theorists (e.g., Sartori 1987), too much democracy and too much social mobilization risk killing democracy. This excessive participation can only lead to new demands that overload the State, which becomes bloated and blocks the dynamism of...

  12. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. 259-264)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 265-274)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 275-275)