147F Review - IDs 1 May 1968"Psychodrama The riots of May...

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IDs 1. May 1968 / “Psychodrama” The riots of May 1968 ended up influencing the psychology of politics in France and revealing the underside of the Republican Model under a centralized govt. It was a psychodrama which means that it lacked a serious agenda and skills (Aron and Hoffmann)—in other words a non-existent revolution. The left had seemed poised for a victory, but because their demands were abstract and seemed unreasonable compared to a reasonable Pompidou govt. They were called babies who were play- acting the revolution. In subsequent years there was a rolling back of social and state restrictions and increased social liberalism. Example: Chaban’s New Society Program fro working negotiations with workers (collective bargaining) or early retirement/Social Anesthesia state (Levy). The increasingly out of touch government was cautious of inciting riots and instead opted to pay people off. However, as social policy increased in breadth workers’ protests for autogestion were silenced and even forgotten. But this breeds social inequality especially with the newer generation of youths today who cannot get jobs. 2. Autogestion / Decentralization Basically two sides of the same coin, autogestion mainly referred to industrial policy, literally self-management. It came to mean the breaking of society into small democratic decentralized chunks and a rejection of top-down control. Example: May 1986 students over parental and university rules, workers who wanted freedom from tyrannical bosses, citizens who wanted freedom from the bullying govt. However there is still management: a shifting downward of power to local governments, codetermination (workers participating in managerial decisions) and unions. Because historically the government distrusts intermediary groups, there are no communication channels for the disenfranchised to express their concerns, save protesting. Use Berger piece to argue that protest politics were a way of life in France. See above examples. 3. Union of the Left / 1983 U-Turn The labor-exclusionary strategy was feasible only as long as the conservative hold on power remained secure. A first shock to conservative hegemony occurred with the near revolution of May 1968. President Charles de Gaulle, who had dominated French politics for a decade, was no longer the unquestioned leader. Indeed, one year later, de Gaulle resigned from office when a referendum designed to relegitimate his rule failed to secure a majority. Conservative hegemony was further eroded in 1971, when France’s Communist and Socialist parties forged a powerful “Union of the Left.” In such a hotly-contested political context, conservative parties needed every vote, and the needs of labor received increasing attention. Political pressures diverted dirigisme from its postwar modernizing mission. Anxious conservative leaders had no stomach for painful, if much-needed, rationalization of declining or uncompetitive enterprises. Indeed, their initiatives often ran in the opposite direction.
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course POL SCI 147F taught by Professor Levy during the Spring '07 term at Berkeley.

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147F Review - IDs 1 May 1968"Psychodrama The riots of May...

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