This book analyses the evolution of the French model of capitalism in relation to the instability of socio-political compromises.
In the 2010s, France was in a situation of systemic crisis, namely, the impossibility for political leadership to find a strategy of institutional change, or more generally a model of capitalism, that could gather sufficient social and political support. This book analyses the various attempts at reforming the French model since the 1980s, when the left tried briefly to orient the French political economy in a social-democratic/socialist direction before changing course and opting for a more
orthodox macroeconomic and structural policy direction. The attempts of governments of the right to implement a radically neo-liberal structural policy also failed in the face of a significant social opposition. The enduring French systemic crisis is the expression of contradictions between the
economic policies implemented by the successive left and right governments, and the existence of a dominant, social bloc, that is, a coalition of social groups that would politically support the dominant political strategy.
Since 1978, both the right and the left have failed to find a solution to the contradictions between the policies they implemented and the expectations of their respective social bases, which are themselves inhabited by tensions and contradictions that evolve with the structural reforms that gradually transformed French capitalism.
Bruno Amable is Professor of Economics at the University of Geneva. After having worked on technological change, competitiveness and growth, he directed his research towards comparative capitalism, institutions, institutional complementarity, and hierarchy. His current research focuses on the political economy of institutional change and the causes and consequences of institutional change in modern developed economies. He focuses on the evolution of the Continental European model of capitalism subject to neo-liberal structural reforms. He has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Socio Economic Review, the Review of International Political Economy, Industrial Relations, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Oxford Economic Papers. He has authored or co-authored four books, among which The Diversity of Modern Capitalism (OUP 2003), which has been translated in French and Japanese.