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Chapitre D'ouvrage Année : 2020

A new political elite in France : the end of professionalization ?


Who governs? It is this classic question in political science (Dahl, 1961) that this chapter seeks to answer. It is based on a tradition of studying parliamentary elites (Best & Cotta, 2000 & 2007 ; Norris, 1997). It proposes to analyze the sociological make up of the French National Assembly elected in June 2017. Of course, this is not the sociology of government in the strict sense of the executive power but that of the parliamentary Assembly elected by direct universal suffrage and supposed to adopt the reforms planned by the in-coming government. The general election, from which this Assembly issued, was particularly interesting because, as in other European democracies, it has resulted in several disruptions. The composition of the Assembly changed substantially: Pierre Birnbaum, a specialist of political-administrative elites in France, even talks about ‘spectacular transformations’ (Birnbaum, 2018). Since 2017, the Assembly has included more women, more young people, and more people from the private sector. The victory of the new movement La République en Marche (LREM) (Perrineau, 2017), founded by Emmanuel Macron, has visibly brought about a radical change in political recruitment: the press and the leaders of the new party talked about ‘renewal’, ‘recomposition’, ‘crushing of traditional parties’ and, consequently, according to them, the success of ‘men and women in the same way as the country itself’ . The professionalization of the political elite seems likely to be in the process of decline, to the advantage of a new generation of politically committed citizens.
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hal-03501988 , version 1 (24-12-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03501988 , version 1


Dominique Andolfatto. A new political elite in France : the end of professionalization ?. Agnès Alexandre-Collier, Alexandra Goujon, Guillaume Gourgues. Innovations, Reinvented Politics and Representative Democracy, Routledge, pp.15-31, 2020, Democratization Studies, 978-0-367-13412-9. ⟨hal-03501988⟩
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