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FREN4112 - Advanced French Politics

Value: 0.5 course units
Professor Philippe Marlière
Teaching structure:
one unseen three-hour written examination (100%).

Module Description:

This is an advanced module in French politics which deals with various aspects of
French political life:

  • Citizens, democracy and the political field;
  • French political traditions and political culture;
  • The main political parties in France and the French party system;
  • How France votes: a sociological explanation of voting in France;
  • The question of ‘political competence’ and of ‘politicisation’;
  • Public opinion and opinion polls;
  • The institutions of the 5th Republic.

Students taking this module are expected to have a genuine interest in current sociopolitical affairs in France.

Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:

studypacks with photocopied book chapters and articles will be sold at cost price at the beginning of the academic year. At the beginning of each class, a student will make a 7-10 minute exposé on some of the texts of the studypack.

The following books should be read or consulted during the year abroad:

  • P. Bréchon, Les Partis politiques (Paris, Montchrestien, ‘Clefs-Politique’, 1999).
  • R. Elgie, Political Institutions in Contemporary France: An Introduction to French Politics and Society (Oxford, OUP, 2003).
  • D. Gaxie, La Démocratie représentative (Paris, Montchrestien, ‘Clefs-Politique’, 3rd ed.).
  • O. Ihl, Le vote (Paris, Montchrestien, ‘Clefs-Politique’, 2000).
  • J. Lagroye, La Politisation (Paris, Belin ‘Socio-Histoires’, 2003).
  • A. Stevens, The Government and Politics of France (Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1996).

It is essential to keep up with major political and social debates in the following newspapers when you are in France:

News and debates online: