The Gaullist Phenomenon

ebook The Gaullist Movement in the Fifth Republic · Studies in Economics and Political Science

By Jean Charlot

cover image of The Gaullist Phenomenon

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Books on gaullism – or, more precisely, books on General de Gaulle – are not uncommon. Originally published in English in 1971, this claimed to be the first book of this sort on gaullism as a political force within the French political system.

Since the publication of his work on the Union pour la nouvelle République Jean Charlot had become known as one of the few objective experts on gaullism. His knowledge of the British political system had helped him to appreciate the nature of the gaullist party which he saw from the first, not as a transient party linked to the political career of General de Gaulle, but as a major, modern, right-wing party, comparable to the Conservative Party in Britain. In this book he demonstrates how the gaullist movement is a 'voter-oriented' party, the first that France had really ever known. The strength of gaullism lies in the electorate, which had fully accepted gaullist economic policies, the institutional changes introduced under the Republic, and the party's foreign policy. This voter-oriented party had fundamentally changed the French party system. A majority party since 1962, the gaullist movement would force the left to regroup within a left-wing, voter-oriented party, if it did not want to face political sterility.

Jean Charlot was one of the few specialists to publish an article just after the referendum (Le Monde, May 2, 1969) forecasting that the departure of General de Gaulle did not foreshadow the end of gaullism as a major political force.

The Gaullist Phenomenon