Author: Małgorzata Madej
Institution: University of Wrocław (Poland)
Year of publication: 2008
Source: Show
Pages: 184-207
DOI Address:
PDF: ppsy/37/ppsy2008012.pdf

The political system of the French Fi€fth Republic is referred to as “semi-presidentialism”. This is is to indicate its mixed nature – of a system presidential and parliamentary at a time. The Constitution grants broad prerogatives – and assigns serious tasks to both the head of state – le Président de la République – and the chief of government – le Premier ministre. When the prime minister represented the pro-presidential political camp, the head of state gained very serious in! uence on governing the state and political strategy (first, when the French political scene was dominated by the right – 1958–1981; then by the le€ – 1981–1986 and 1988–1993; and finally by the right again 1995–1997 and since 2002). As early as during Charles de Gaulle presidency (1958–1969) the idea called domaine reservée came into existence. According to this political concept, the widelyinterpreted external policies – including foreign affairs and defence were recognised as presidential prerogatives, regardless the of literal construction of legal provisions. Relations within the executive changed radically with the end of political unity. During the so-called cohabitation French political practices were different and they ultimately led to an amendment of the Constitution.


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