France at a Crossroads

Societal Challenges to the Welfare State during Nicolas Sarkozy's and Francois Hollande's Presidential Terms

Benjamin LERUTH

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAfter Austerity
Subtitle of host publicationWelfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession
EditorsPeter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth, Heejung Chung
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter4
Pages67-88
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780198790266
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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LERUTH, B. (2017). France at a Crossroads: Societal Challenges to the Welfare State during Nicolas Sarkozy's and Francois Hollande's Presidential Terms. In P. Taylor-Gooby, B. Leruth, & H. Chung (Eds.), After Austerity: Welfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession (pp. 67-88). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198790266.003.0004