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Abel François and Eric Phélippeau

Article 4 of the 1958 French constitution only recognizes the existence of political parties without giving them an effective statute. It was not until the late 1980s that political finance regulations changed this state of affairs. Public funding was introduced and new rules were formalized. These new regulations have generated conflicts around the definition of a ‘political party’. They have also been the subject of numerous uses. This chapter goes back over the effects induced by the new regulations dealing with the finances of the French political parties. It analyzes the impacts of those regulations on different types of receipts and expenses and attempts to understand how, after being passed, the regulations have been utilized in politics.