C’est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron? Assessing legislative productivity in Fifth Republic France
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This exploratory research note theorises about and tests the factors that have affected legislative productivity in France from 1960 to 2007. The empirical model accounts for intra-parliamentary dynamics such as the parties’ ideological placement on a left-right scale, the government's seat strength, coalition governments and intensity of opposition to the majority in the National Assembly. The model also considers features unique to the Fifth Republic, such as judicial review of bills by the Constitutional Council and presidents’ ‘sacking’ of prime ministers. External factors include strikes and social movements, as well as prime ministers’ and presidents’ job approval that are posited to impact lawmaking. The results of the analysis suggest how the model developed in this research may be extended to future analyses of parliamentary activity in the Fifth Republic.