‘The work was standardized, rigid; it has become adaptable, flexible. The institutions were paternalist, authoritarian; they have become permissive, liberal. A feeling of security reigned on the world. It is now the insecurity which is dominant' (Cohen, 2002)
This international economic change has disrupted the French Social model but has it signaled its irremediable end? It is the serious concern that we will try to clarify and to develop. The first significant point is the definition of the singular economic French model.
In the beginning of the second part of the twentieth century, the French state played a significant role in the domestic economy through the duty of reconstruction and modernization which imposed to France. As an investor, a manager, an undertaken the state fostered up the economic growth. The French model took its grassroots on the ideal of the Social Democracy, providing France with far-spreading social security system.
Does this strong state presence enable France to promote the implementation of a favorable environment for an opened economy or in contrast does it establish barriers and restrictions against the growing international competition? Until the seventies, the French Model seemed to succeed, combining a high growth rate and human progresses. The state achieved to benefit from the first steps of its adhesion to the free trade.
[...] In order to conclude, one may assert that the French social model has embodied a moderate capitalism in which the state tries to interfere into the rational interest of economic agents in order to reach the general interest. As a protective one, the French system has always been mistrustful towards the growing international competition. After the turning point of the seventies, which marked the increase of the trade exchanges in the world, the French social system had resigned itself to preserve its model, demonstrating difficulties to adapt it. [...]
[...] Inspired by the British influence of Beveridge rapport, the French social security had undertaken, from 1944 under the order of Alexandre Parodi, the labor minister who lauded change of [the French] political democracy in a social one'. This assistance system forecasted to eradicate poverty and indigence. The social security protected workers and citizens against the unemployment and sickness. These measures illustrated well social democracy's ideal in which the state takes care of people who are bypassed by the economic rise. [...]
[...] Thanks for these economic benefit, France should develop a new protecting system for its citizens in order to limit the harmful aspect of liberalism and prevent market failures, as the neo-keynesianists recommend it. France has to forget ideology and to practice pragmatism. We can compare the French economic moves with the evolvement of Social Democracy, which has enforced new methods face to the growing competition but in maintaining its main objectives. The implementation of a ‘social liberalism' has notably appeared in numerous European countries which have reached a low level of unemployment and high growth rate. [...]
[...] The state has the asset to stand for the general interest and to found real economic and social democracy' in contrast with tremendous economic and financial feudalisms' and professional dictatorship as regarding the fascist states' (National Council of Resistance, 1943). The Plan managed two on third part of French investments, defining the key sectors, handling the Marshall financial aid and fixing ambitious objectives to achieve. These policies characterized the economic voluntarism of the French model. Some scholars do not hesitate to compare this economic system with the soviet model. [...]
[...] For some scholars, this stagnation of the growth has been the cost of the French adhesion to the EMU which requires harsh domestic effort, notably to scarify the demand in favor of the budgetary equilibrium (Heyer p136- 137) The most striking element is the collapse of one of the pillars of the French social model: the crisis of the Welfare State. J. Rosenvallon, very pertinent French sociologist and economist, devised three shapes in La crise de l'état Providence: the lack of funding, the lack of efficiency and the lack of legitimacy. [...]
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