Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Politics and Geopolitics / Present and future of Europe / Articles
The current political elite of France
Material posted: Publication date: 17-04-2018

The current political elite of France is a very contrasting palette of political forces. Since it is the elite in the process of defining the country's foreign policy, it is important to examine the structure of the political elite of France, as one of the key States in the modern world.

In order to solve this question, it is necessary to understand the term "elite". It comes from the Latin "eligere" and the French "elite", which means "better", "selected", "favorites"[1]. Since XVII century it is used to denote the goods of the highest quality, and then to name the "chosen people", especially the higher nobility, and the privileged military. Under the broad interpretation of the "political elite" you can talk about it of profiling. So the higher political elite includes leading political leaders and those who occupy high posts in legislative, Executive and judicial branches of government. It includes the immediate environment of the President, Prime Minister, speaker of Parliament, heads of state authorities, leading political parties, political factions in Parliament. In France it is normally entering 100-200 people. The average elite of France is formed from a large number of elected officials: MPs, senators, deputies, mayors, governors, leaders of various political parties and political movements. The administrative elite of France consists of a top layer of civil servants (officials) who occupy high positions in ministries, departments and other organs of the state administration of France.

It is also worth noting that the political elite of France has a rich stock of political traditions, significant experience in the distribution of political power between the administrative and political structures, as well as experience in the preparation of the skilled elite. In this it is similar to the political elites of neighboring countries, such as Germany, whose political elite forms the foreign policy of the state through business and non-governmental organizations[2]. She owns effective ways to maintain and extend political power revealed by the results of political elections, in which the traditional leaders of the political life of France traditionally gain a lot of votes[3]. Similar situation in French political culture retained many decades, so the political continuity is a good model for the political elites of all countries of the world.The political elite of France, formed of the leaders of political parties and public officials. Under the highest political elite means the totality of leading political leaders of France and their immediate environment: persons in senior positions in the legislative, Executive and judicial powers (immediate entourage of the President, the Prime Minister, leading Ministers, presidents of the National Assembly and Senate, heads of parliamentary groups, the leaders and leaders are the drivers of parliamentary groups, heads and leaders of political parties) and those at national level. Currently these positions: gérard Longuet, Jean-Pierre Bel, Nicolas Abu, Yvonne Tribes and others.

In 2014, elections to the European Parliament from France won the political party front national, headed by marine Le pen, and that more than 20 decades was in opposition to the state, because of its programmatic goals have been pretty radical in the eyes of French. However, even this party and all its members are also part of the political elite of France and form the opposition to the ruling elite of the Socialist party. Another major force in the French political arena is "Union for a popular movement", whose leader is the former President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy. Thus, we can conclude that in France, the authorities allowed as of right radical party, and liberals and left-centrists. Today the President of the Republic is Emmanuel macron, the leader of the political movement "Forward!", who won in the elections of 14 may 2017.

In addition, currently, the elite of France is largely determined by the participation of a large number of women. This factor stimulates democratization in the political circles of the state.

The main source of the political elite in the country – the Ecole Polytechnique (École Polytechnique, is one of the strongest engineering schools in France), which plays a much bigger role than Ivy League in the United States. Many French leaders received education in engineering, especially in the field of nuclear energy. As a result of political elite of the country was in "cognitive prisoners" of the nuclear industry: more than half of power plants in France producing nuclear power plants is much more than in other countries.[4]

It's always difficult to answer the question "Why do people want to make a political career?" Domestic researcher N. Yulia Lapina[5] distinguishes four motive that compel French politicians to go into power: "the desire to change things, personal loyalty to the leader, the desire to continue the work of his family, the desire to adapt socially"(LINK: Lapina N. Yu. The political elite of France: motivation, career paths, the profession of politics in the beginning of XXI century // the Power and the elite: Anthology. – Vol. 1. – SPb.: Intersocs. – 2014. – S. 1-5.). In France you can find different career models: the model of gradual progress in politics (when politicians move from the regional to the Central level, while gaining work experience in local authorities), hardware career (career in the party), the administrative-bureaucratic (involving candidates from the structures of Executive power), model of inheritance (the transmission of political capital within the family), as well as the arrival of business.

In addition, in France, where education plays a crucial role in access to political elite, hit it due to the graduation of only a few universities. The initial link in the selection are the elite, prestigious schools in the country. The political class in France are highly qualified professionals who undergo a pretty tough career selection before they enter the lava of the ruling elites.

To summarize, we can say that the political elite of France consists of persons holding the highest positions in the legislative, Executive and judicial powers (immediate entourage of the President, the Prime Minister, leading Ministers, presidents of the National Assembly and Senate, heads of parliamentary groups, the leaders and leaders are the drivers of parliamentary groups, heads and leaders of political parties) and those at national level. Such a situation suggests the relative isolation of the political elite to the emergence of new faces, although the last presidential election suggests otherwise.

Links:

  1. Emelyanov A. I. the National interests of Germany in Latin America // Bulletin of Moscow state linguistic University. Series: Social Sciences. – 2015. – Vol. 26 (737). – S. 66-74.
  2. Kasamara V. A., maksimenkova M. S. the Country and its political elites in views of Russian and French parliamentarians. // Public Sciences and modernity. – 2013. – No. 4. – S. 56.
  3. Lapina N. Yu. The political elite of France: motivation, career paths, the profession of politics in the early twenty-first century. // The power and the elite: Anthology. – Vol. 1. – SPb.: Intersocs. – 2014. – S. 1-5.

 

[1] Serratus, D. A. the Interpretation of the concept of political elite and its structure in the world and Russian political thought. // Scientific works. Tom. 79. – Vol. 66. – p. 85

[2] Emelyanov A. I. the National interests of Germany in Latin America // Bulletin of Moscow state linguistic University. Series: Social Sciences. – 2015. – Vol. 26 (737). – S. 66-74.

[3] https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-40321697

[4] https://knoema.ru/atlas

[5] Lapin N. Yu. The political elite of France: motivation, career paths, the profession of politics in the early twenty-first century. // The power and the elite: Anthology. – Vol. 1. – SPb.: Intersocs. – 2014. – C. 1-5.

Bakhisheva Elvin


RELATED MATERIALS: Politics and Geopolitics
Возрастное ограничение