Books – The right cure for the patient

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An economist reveals France’s real state of health as a sovereign state and a capitalist system.

Let’s begin with an axiom: France is Europe’s not so imaginary invalid. As proof, consider its public accounts: France has a debt-to-GDP ratio that has climbed from 20% in 1980 to 96% in 2016. The problem is reiterated in competition indices. Even Bruno Amable, an economics lecturer at Geneva University who was awarded the prize for the best French economist in 2000, can’t help admitting it. But Amable has a solution, a method of addressing France’s problems both as a State and as a capitalist system that is entirely based on the French social fabric.

In his last book, not suited for all, but not impossible for many, Amable analyses what has taken place in France over the last 40 years. “Structural Crisis and Institutional Change in Modern Capitalism: French Capitalism in Transition” starts us out in the 1980s and takes us along all the way up to the present day, surrounded by state-subsidised companies and trade unions hell-bent on protecting special rather than collective interests. And Amable, who has been criticised in France by trade unions and the Left as being a neo-liberal, outlines simple concepts that have never been implemented. If one intends to address long-term sustainability, even where public debt is concerned, one must completely overhaul the relationship between businesses and the State. “French style” capitalism has long been dead. Either France opens up to the world or it will remain Europe’s not so imaginary invalid. This will mean that when the next crisis comes along, the greatest cost will not only be paid by Paris, but by the rest of the European Union as well.


Bruno Amable

Structural Crisis and Institutional Change in Modern Capitalism: French Capitalism in Transition

248 pagine

Oxford University Press

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