Comparative Politics - France

Date:  2021-03-09 19:24:10
4 pages  (1154 words)
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This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

France has a unique history and its story of democracy is one that has been marred by many struggles but none as definitive as the French Revolution. However, this fete was not attained overnight but instead took the persistence of many patriotic statesmen to actualize. The French story of democracy has not been smooth or stable due to many successive short-lived regimes namely: a consulate, two empires, two monarchies, five republics, a directoire and a Vichy regime that came to power during World War II CITATION Loc \l 2057 (Loc.gov). All these regimes came with constitutional and institutional challenges that threatened the legitimacy of the state of France. Under the charismatic and overly ambitious leaders such as Napoleon I and III, France underwent a dynamic shift in terms of politics and democracy. These leaders' vision and over-indulgence did not lead to great strides in actualizing democracy at that time. However, with the guidance of General Charles de Gaulle, France was able to come up as a strong democracy and economically stable. Another reason as to France's rather slow ascension to democracy is the constant and imminent threats of wars declared on it from other countries between the years of 1814-1815. The other three significant wars that it fought were the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and the World Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 respectively. These wars left her impoverished both economically and politically. The nation was paralysed by poverty, injustice and all sorts of instability that proved to be fodder for the French revolution. The French revolution gave birth to the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. This would not have been realised without the collaborative effort of the enlightened poets, artists, playwrights and painters who tirelessly worked to create a state that upheld freedom and democracy CITATION Loc \l 2057 (Loc.gov).

Charles de Gaulle was a French general who made significant economic, social and political reforms in France during one of its most trying moments. He guided France through the drafting of the constitution on which the Fourth Republic was established. During his rule France not only adopted a new constitution, but was able to grant Algeria independence (which was disapproved by majority of the French citizenry). He saved France from indulging in civil war with Algeria in 1958. De Gaulle was able to establish good foreign relations with formidable nations like the United States of America and this was significant as it meant that France had a strong stand in the global political arena. Furthermore, the economic reforms that he pushed for, such as France's own currency meant that the country was able to trade fairly in the international scene. Economic stability also meant that the country could wield more power in sittings such as the United Nations CITATION The08 \l 2057 (The Economist , 2008). Furthermore, we indefatigably resisted Germany's efforts towards world domination (Nazism) during the 1940s under Adolf Hitler. For this reason, he was able to forge a good relationship and admiration from the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt and General Dwight Eisenhower. His famous moniker, states do not have friends: they have only interests pretty much summed up his philosophy on how France came up with foreign policies. There is no doubt that he played a commendable and noteworthy role in shaping the future of France.

The elite community in France comprises the most brilliant minds in the country that are recruited from the country's most prestigious schools namely: ENA and the Ecole Polytechnique. These schools are highly competitive and determine one's professional career CITATION Sim13 \l 2057 (Kuper, 2013). According to statistics, only 80 students graduate from ENA and 400 more from the Polytechnique to a very competitive market but because they went to the best schools and have the required skills, get into very demanding careers such as business professors. Their lives are characterized by hard work, dedication and success. Between the periods of 1946-1973, the elite were the creme de la creme of the nation and contributed significantly to the economy of France. They can be credited with creating Europe's fastest trains, airplanes (the Concorde) and nudged Germany into creating the Euro and establishing an independent military CITATION Sim13 \l 2057 (Kuper, 2013). Belonging to the elitist class came not only with privileges but responsibilities. They played a major role in creating economic and political stability that France greatly needed. Some of France's presidents were moulded in these prestigious schools. The elitist class wields much political power in the country despite the fact they only represent a miniscule fraction of the general French population. Furthermore, they are the majority in prestigious working-class fraction, they hold jobs that determine business decisions with regard to the country.

Most importantly, they determine France's future leaders much to the chagrin of the French voter. They also influence the social norms and strata having gone to the most flamboyant schools since the age of three. With their solid collaboration, they are able to drive policies that influence the political and economic climate. However, with time, their influence is dwindling as they were not trained to succeed in the world but only in a particular niche, which is Central Paris. They have therefore not been able to adapt to the global trends and the changing face of Frances politics that has been influenced by its more aware citizenry.

France's recent foreign affairs policy entails the current state of Libya. A political agreement was drafted to restore to the country after the civil and political upheaval that saw the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. The agreement seeks to establish a government in Libya to provide security and stability to the nation as well as revert the quality of life that Libyans were accustomed to. Furthermore, it seeks to put strategies in place to see to it that Libya's economy makes a full recovery CITATION Fra16 \l 2057 (France Diplomatie, 2016). France is also currently one of the super powers involved in fighting the ISIS menace that has since infiltrated Libya. However, France's real impetus for invading Libya is not clear and could probably be interpreted as a move to access the massive oil reserves in Libya. Therefore, its vested interest in the resources that Libya holds rather than the humanitarian concerns is a clear indicator of the capitalistic nature of France just like the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

References

BIBLIOGRAPHY France Diplomatie. (2016, February 25). Libya- Stament from the ambassador and special envoys of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, The United States, and the United Kingdom. Retrieved from France Diplomatie: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/libya/events/2016/article/libya-statement-from-the-ambassadors-and-special-envoys-of-the-european-union

Kuper, S. (2013, May 10). The French elite: where it went wrong. Retrieved from FT Magazine: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/d76b5fcc-b83f-11e2-bd62-00144feabdc0.html

Loc.gov. (n.d.). Creating French Culture. Retrieved from Loc.gov: https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/bnf/bnf0006.html

The Economist . (2008, October 2). De Gaulle revived. Retrieved from The Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/12342083

 

 

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