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From Paradox to Missed Opportunities: French Statist Liberalism and the Euro Crisis

Vail, Mark I. (2015) From Paradox to Missed Opportunities: French Statist Liberalism and the Euro Crisis. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    This paper analyzes the evolving politics of France's European commitments with a particular emphasis on the contradictions and inconsistencies within France’s position as a European leader and anchor of EMU. It argues that the competing allures of statism and liberalism, France’s vacillating commitments to Keynesianism and austerity, and France’s core partnership with Germany have generated a deeply fraught and inconsistent set of trajectories in financial and economic policy both domestically and at the European level. It supports this central claim through an empirical study of the political debates surrounding the incipient European and Economic and Monetary Union in the late 1990s and the European financial and ensuing Eurozone sovereign debt crisis after 2007. In both of these instances (but most powerfully and obviously in the latter), French policy was guided by commanding but often contradictory political-economic imperatives: French economic autonomy and political leadership within Europe, the preservation of its historic partnership with Germany as an avenue of influence in the European Union, and protecting and preserving its cherished “statist liberal” political-economic model. The chapter concludes by suggesting that this balancing strategy has become less feasible since the euro crisis and France's growing ineffectiveness at articulating an alternative vision of European economic policy has reduced the chances of a less austere future for the Euro and may well destabilize the currency union as a whole.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > France
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > EMU/EMS/euro
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 16:01
    Number of Pages: 38
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 16:01

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