The European Social Model in Crisis

The European Social Model in Crisis

Is Europe Losing Its Soul?

Edited by Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead

This is the first book to provide a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the impact of the crisis and austerity policies on all elements of the European Social Model. This book assesses the situation in each individual EU member state on the basis of detailed empirical evidence and concrete case studies.

Chapter 3: France’s social model: Between resilience and erosion

Jérôme Gautié

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, politics and public policy, european politics and policy, social policy and sociology, labour policy


France displays strong specificities and does not fit well within the seminal distinction introduced by Hall and Soskice (2001) between liberal and coordinated market economies. The latter – exemplified by countries such as Germany, Denmark or Sweden – rely on coordination between actors, including social partners, at different levels (company, industry and national, with the role of each level differing between countries). France falls rather under the category of ‘state-led’ economies as, historically, the central state has played a crucial role in orienting and shaping the economy and society, while intermediate societal institutions were weak (Levy 2005). This remained true during the second half of the twentieth century, when the state continued to play a central role in the regulation and functioning of the labour market and the social protection system.

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