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Policy Analysis in France$
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Charlotte Halpern, Patrick Hassenteufel, and Philippe Zittoun

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324218

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324218.001.0001

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Beyond weakness: policy analysis in the French parliament

Beyond weakness: policy analysis in the French parliament

(p.137) Eight Beyond weakness: policy analysis in the French parliament
Policy Analysis in France

Olivier Rozenberg

Yves Surel

Policy Press

The French Parliament is well-known for its weakness under the Fifth Republic. The constitutional domination of the executive power is not only marked in terms of legislative procedure but also bears consequence in terms of the capacity of the two houses to mobilize policy analysis. Committees are limited both in number and competence. The capacity to hold the government and the administration accountable is also strictly bounded. Furthermore, the bureaucracies of both houses are comparatively weak and are unable to support a systematic and general investment of MPs in policy initiatives. This chapter offers a balanced assessment of the contemporary capacity of the French Parliament to use and produce policy analysis. It points to the limited effect of the constitutional reforms implemented recently as well as the lack of human resources that can be mobilized within assemblies. Yet, it also considers the greater policy analysis capacity of the parliament in some policy fields as well as the recent efforts developed in view of fostering parliamentary evaluation.

Keywords:   Parliament, Legislative power, Policy analysis, Members of Parliament (MPs), Constitutional reforms, Inquiry committee, Policy evaluation

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