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Palgrave Macmillan

Presidents, Prime Ministers and Majorities in the French Fifth Republic

  • Book
  • © 2024


  • Contributes to the understanding of semi-presidential systems’ complex changes from an original and revealing angle
  • Fills a gap in the English language literature by providing a tool for the analysis of power relations
  • Offers a president-by-president history of the political system of the Fifth Republic

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Presidential Politics (PASTPRPO)

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


About this book

This book focuses on the triangle of power dynamics between presidents, prime ministers and parliamentary majorities, and the way it has evolved throughout the French Fifth Republic, the longest-lasting semi-presidential system. What are the main patterns in the functions and interactions of the three institutions? How do the personalities of presidents, prime ministers and leading parliamentarians shape the dynamics of the institutional system and France’s political evolution during each presidential term? To what extent do their ideological and partisan affiliations affect collaboration between key political leaders? How do the dynamics of inter-institutional relations influence the country’s overall stability and progress? And what are the main lessons of the Fifth Republic’s semi-presidential experience for countries that based their institutional systems on the French model?


The current French institutional system is rather challenging to fathom properly from abroad. Presidential by some aspects, parliamentary by others, it is difficult to encompass. Furthermore, the chameleon Constitution of the Fifth Republic has gone through almost contradictory interpretations at times, from a nearly regal standpoint to three periods of “cohabitation” having the President stay recluse in his Elysée’s Palace as the British monarchs in Westminster. “Presidents, Prime Ministers and Majorities. The Complex Evolution of the French Fifth Republic” comes then opportunely to introduce the reader to this more than sixty years complexity. The book is driven by a strong group of scholars, historian and political scientists, including the eyes of a few non-French academics whose outside position helps usefully to give international readers audience a better understanding of this so-specific country’s political system.

 -Philippe J. Maarek, Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Political Studies of Fontainebleau, Paris-Est University, France

Editors and Affiliations

  • Faculty of European Studies, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

    Sergiu Mişcoiu

  • Paris-Est Créteil University, Paris, France

    Pierre-Emmanuel Guigo

About the editors

Sergiu Mişcoiu is Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of European Studies, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Pierre-Emmanuel Guigo is Associate Professor of History at the University Paris East Créteil, France.


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