The Personalisation of Politics and Government Communication During the Fourth Republic
Brizzi describes the beginnings of the personalisation of French politics during the Fourth Republic in a political context that had traditionally been hostile to any form of personalisation. Historically, the structure of political parties and the parliamentary system had been antithetical to all forms of personalism; however, by the beginning of the 1950s some political leaders began to appeal to and enter into a more direct dialogue with the people. Examples of this are provided by Antoine Pinay’s use of the press, Pierre Mendès-France’s radio “fireside speeches” and Guy Mollet’s appearances on television. These leaders’ use of the mass media, combined with the weakened position of the political parties following the Algerian crisis, encouraged the further personalisation of French politics by de Gaulle when he returned to power in 1958.