Leadership and Television: The General and Constitutional Development During the Fifth Republic

  • Riccardo Brizzi
Part of the French Politics, Society and Culture book series (FPSC)


The decisive role played by television in determining the success of the new 1958 Constitution, which ushered in a new presidentialist turn in French politics, is the focus of this chapter. The 1958 Constitution ambiguously put the executive under the rule of both the Prime Minister and the Head of State. However, between 1958 and 1962 the presidentalisation of the French system developed and flourished due to three main factors: the state of emergency caused by the Algerian War during which the Head of State was given full executive powers; the devotion of Prime Minister Debré towards the General and the General’s extensive and continuous recourse to television—in particular, de Gaulle’s use of television in presenting his policies on national and international affairs, which served to encourage the perception among the French public that he alone was responsible for the destiny of the nation.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo Brizzi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations