French Politics

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 233–268 | Cite as

‘Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’: The evolution and the structure of attitudes toward economic liberalism in France between 1990 and 2008

  • Adrien DegeorgesEmail author
  • Frédéric Gonthier
Research Article


Many findings have documented the movements of aggregate public opinion on economic liberalism over time. By combining a series of EVS items, we point out that the French grew more skeptical of market capitalism well before the beginning of the Great Recession, and that all income and ideological groups have moved in parallel between 1990 and 2008. Yet by examining the extent to which individual-level differences can mirror the dynamics of politics and inequalities, we show that income does not influence statist attitudes equally on the right and on the left. Ideology thus appears to be a good predictor of attitudes toward economic liberalism and a powerful moderator of the influence of income. Finally, we suggest that the coexistence of different attitude dimensions might explain why the public's demand for redistribution has often been disconnected from election outcomes in France.


economic liberalism welfare attitudes economic inequality policy mood parallel publics multiple correspondence analysis 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre d’etudes europeennes de sciences PoParisFrance
  2. 2.Institut d’Etudes Politiques de GrenobleSaint-Martin-d’HèresFrance

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