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This chapter analyzes French responses to the financial crisis, arguing that a ‘post-dirigiste’ interpretation predicated on an expansive notion of the state as actor in and enactor of markets best captures the qualitative shift in French state/market relations. Post-dirigisme incorporates how influential institutional and ideational legacies of the French dirigiste tradition continue to influence outcomes by generating anticipation of state action to shape the market. These distinctive traits leave footprints on French institutions and market structures, and the evolutionary trajectory of French capitalism. In analyzing the French political economy in the wake of the financial crisis in terms of ‘new state activism’, this chapter explores the French state as a ‘midwife’ of change in banking and the automobile industry. It uses post-dirigisme to explain French state responses to the financial crisis, noting how state actors, in concert with the elites, actively facilitated dominant market positions of French international champions.

Keywords: France; political economy; Varieties of Capitalism; new state activism; market-making; post-dirigisme; Global Financial Crisis

Chapter.  8751 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy ; Financial Institutions and Services

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