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The Political Foundations of Trust and Distrust: Reforms and Protests in France

Lindvall, Johannes LU (2011) In West European Politics 34(2). p.296-316
Abstract
This article argues that the high level of protest activity in France is, at least partly, the result of distrust between the government and the trade unions, and that such distrust is inevitable in a society where unions are sometimes strong enough to mobilise against the government but not confident in their own future strength. This trust problem can be overcome if governments are willing to make institutional changes that commit them to future policies, but such political engineering is costly and unstable, which explains why governments sometimes prefer open confrontation. The empirical part of the paper analyses four French social and labour market reform initiatives in the 1990s and 2000s, demonstrating that the ideas developed in... (More)
This article argues that the high level of protest activity in France is, at least partly, the result of distrust between the government and the trade unions, and that such distrust is inevitable in a society where unions are sometimes strong enough to mobilise against the government but not confident in their own future strength. This trust problem can be overcome if governments are willing to make institutional changes that commit them to future policies, but such political engineering is costly and unstable, which explains why governments sometimes prefer open confrontation. The empirical part of the paper analyses four French social and labour market reform initiatives in the 1990s and 2000s, demonstrating that the ideas developed in this article help to explain important features of contemporary French policy-making. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
West European Politics
volume
34
issue
2
pages
296 - 316
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000288281400006
  • scopus:79952376320
ISSN
0140-2382
DOI
10.1080/01402382.2011.546575
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d5efd880-a593-49a4-9b67-c3735a7057eb (old id 1918218)
date added to LUP
2011-05-13 11:54:20
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:34:56
@article{d5efd880-a593-49a4-9b67-c3735a7057eb,
  abstract     = {This article argues that the high level of protest activity in France is, at least partly, the result of distrust between the government and the trade unions, and that such distrust is inevitable in a society where unions are sometimes strong enough to mobilise against the government but not confident in their own future strength. This trust problem can be overcome if governments are willing to make institutional changes that commit them to future policies, but such political engineering is costly and unstable, which explains why governments sometimes prefer open confrontation. The empirical part of the paper analyses four French social and labour market reform initiatives in the 1990s and 2000s, demonstrating that the ideas developed in this article help to explain important features of contemporary French policy-making.},
  author       = {Lindvall, Johannes},
  issn         = {0140-2382},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {296--316},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {West European Politics},
  title        = {The Political Foundations of Trust and Distrust: Reforms and Protests in France},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2011.546575},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2011},
}