Gilles Le Beguec

The Illusion of the Center-Left in France

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  • Abstract

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Keywords: Center-Left; Gaullism; Bipolar Logic; Fifth Republic; Giscard d'Estaing.

The article challenges the idea that there was a sharp polarization between Right and Left wing at the beginning of the Fifth Republic, particularly during the period 1958-1962, as a consequence of the Algerian crisis and the consolidation of the new national institutional system. The decade between the first election by direct universal suffrage (1965) and when Valery Giscard d'Estaing took office as President (1974) represented the so-called decade of «grandes manoeuvres» both in the party system and in the ideological elaboration of the Center-Left idea. Finally, in 1981, with the change in the government and the definitive consolidation of the bipolar logic, the Center-Left ended up becoming a sort of mirage, capable nonetheless to preserve until today its political relevance.

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