The first twenty years of the Fifth Republic encompass four presidential elections, alternating political control of the National Assembly, and years of rapid economic growth and contraction. Thus a variety of events now allow an evaluation of the efficacy of the Fifth Republic. The chapters of this book examine: the governmental framework and various political groups that have vied for control of it; industrial development and modernization; education and culture; and foreign policy. Containing both favorable and critical assessments, the book provides a comprehensive balance sheet on the Fifth Republic and the influence of Charles de Gaulle. Its 25 essays were written by such well-known scholars as Crozier, Gagnon, Gourévitch, Ross, Suleiman, and others, as well as some of the younger generation of French specialists, with concluding synthesis by Stanley Hoffmann.
The book features an essay of historical importance on the Constitution of the Fifth Republic by the Constitution’s own “father,” the former Prime Minister of France, Michel Debré.
Looking into the areas of government, politics, economy, society, culture, and foreign policy, this volume gives the reader an understanding of the considerable impact of Charles de Gaulle’s administration on contemporary France.