European Constitutional Law Review


Presidential Elements in Government

France: The Quest for Political Responsibility of the President in the Fifth Republic

Vlad Constantinesco  a and Stéphane Pierré-Caps  b

Article author query
constantinesco v   [Google Scholar] 
pierre-caps s   [Google Scholar] 


Power of state – President as state's and as people's representative – Bicephalism of government – Unity in cabinet – History – Guizot, Chateaubriand – Orleanism – President's arbitration is form of leadership – De Gaulle engaging political responsibility – penal responsibility – Cohabitation – Constitutional amendment and referendum (1962) – President structures parliamentary majority – Weakness of Parliament – Full presidentialization? – Sixth Republic?

(Published Online December 14 2006)

Key Words: Presidential Elements in Government; France; Political Responsibility; President; Constitutional Referendum; Guizot; Chateaubriand; Bicephalism; Penal Responsibility; Weak Parliament; Presidentialization; French Presidential Government.


a Professor at Robert Schumann University, Strasbourg.

b Professor at Nancy 2 University.