In his declaration of general policy in May 1995, President Chirac's first premier, Alain Juppe, called for a 'new republican pact' wherein 'Frenchstyle public services' would perform an essential cohesive role.' Two years later, Juppe slumped to defeat in the National Assembly elections, hoist upon the petard of a failed public service reform programme and by memories of the vast social protest movement of November-December 1995. This essay elucidates the various meanings of the elusive notion of service public. It then appraises European, national and sub-national challenges to traditional French understandings of the service public. Through observing examples of ideological and organisational resistance, the essay concludes that French policy makers have confronted the challenges to the service public in a way which is consistent with their political traditions.
|Title of host publication||The Changing French Political System|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publisher||Frank Cass Publishers|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Feb 2000|