French politics have been undergoing a process of restructuring since the coming of the Fifth Republic in 1958. This process, like any process of political change, has been a complex one involving many factors and variables. The most obvious of these factors has been the one most commented upon by journalists and contemporary historians – the influence of General de Gaulle and his policies (the new constitution, foreign policy, etc.). What is only beginning to emerge from the academic debate is the relationship between Gaullist politics and the other variables.
* Department of Politics, University of York.