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Virginia Wesleyan College
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Student Research Projects

France's Political System

Student Chantal Morley
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Foreign Languages and Literature
Course French 443: Senior Seminar


France's political system has evolved from an "absolute monarchy" to the institutional and constitutional system in place today known as the Fifth Republic. The evolution of France's political regime since the 1789 French Revolution through the various types of regimes that followed has given the French people the historical opportunity to test and experience various forms of political arrangements and regimes, some democratic, some non-democratic, others semi-democratic to various degrees. Today, political life in France takes place to a large extent through an amazing number and variety of political parties ranging from the extreme left to the extreme right and covering the whole range of political ideas, cultures, and options. There are many differences but also some similarities between the French political system and what exists in the United States. My goal is to bring to light the rich--and sometimes extravagant--history of France's political system, the role of the political parties, the impact and influence the citizens of France can exert on the system outside the political parties, and the similarities and differences between France and the United States.

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