The Political Forces of French Conservatism: Chirac’s Rassemblement and the President’s Party
The last twenty years of contemporary French political history have unquestionably been years of great change: they have seen the transformation of institutions, the reorganisation of the electorate and the regrouping of political forces: indeed, since 1958, an overall change has been affecting all areas of the political structure and activity of the country. This innovation is particularly clear as far as the political parties are concerned. Within the framework of the original régime of the ‘republican monarchy’1 established by the 1958 Constitution, the constitutional reform of 1962 and the Gaullist exercise of power, two major bodies of political opinion have gradually emerged, and national political activity has been based ona simple, violent and even reductivist schism: on the one hand, the Right in power; on the other, the Left in opposition.
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- 1.According to the term used by M. Duverger in La Monarchie Républicaine (Paris: Laffont, 1974). See also M. Duverger, Echec au Roi (Paris: Albin Michel, 1978).Google Scholar
- 2.On the constitution of the system of the majority and the parallel evolution of the Gaullist movement, and on the role of the latter in the federation of right-wing groups, see J. Chariot in Le Phénomène Gaulliste (Paris: Fayard, 1970).Google Scholar
- 13.On the RPF see C. Purtschet, Le Rassemblement du Peuple Français 1947–1953 (Paris: Cujas, 1965).Google Scholar