France has established itself as one of the most ‘generous’ welfare states in the world. The Great Recession of 2007–8 confronted French social policy with escalating unemployment and deepening inequalities. Combined with major pension reforms, these led to strong levels of dissatisfaction across the country, exacerbated by tensions over immigration, Euroscepticism, and internal security problems. This chapter examines how these issues developed in political context and uses material from attitude surveys to analyse existing and future challenges for the welfare state in France. It assesses recent reforms: governments of right and left offered contrasting programmes but failed to win public trust. France now stands at a cross-roads, facing a strong presidential challenge from the anti-immigrant, anti-EU right.
|Title of host publication||After Austerity|
|Subtitle of host publication||Welfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession|
|Editors||Peter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth, Heejung Chung|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|