Resistance to change seems to be a deeply ingrained trait of French national character, and therefore traditional political accounts of France emphasize historical continuity. Yet, France has changed considerably in the past two decades, whether in economic, social, or political terms. This article reviews Changing France: The Politics That Markets Make and, beyond this book, asks how France has and has not been transformed. The central argument is that this change has taken place for the most part in the shadows instead of being publicized and debated. This has led to an overwhelming feeling of malaise in society and to a crisis of political representation.
A Review Essay of Changing France: The Politics that Markets Make, by Pepper Culpepper, Peter Hall and Bruno Palier eds.