Table of Contents. Related Content. She argues that constant displacement and changes in political, social and cultural contexts have significantly transformed the dynamics that govern the relationship between the center Metropolitan France and the periphery its Others. Most importantly, she seeks to position their work in the field of transnationalism, which has dominated postcolonial studies and cultural studies in the past decade.
Alferi, A. Portugal, A. Chaton, N. Quintane, Ch. Pennequin, J. Espitallier, J. Sadin, J. Gleize, Chr. He also points out that US ghettos are plagued by levels of poverty and indigence and forms of violence unequalled in France. Finally, according to the author, many American black ghettos are in a state of utter dereliction unknown in France. And yet the word is used by some social scientists, e. The laisser-faire society that France is becoming bears the seeds of ghettos within itself [ He notes in this regard that a number of developments since the early s have actually spurred the growth of ghettos in France: viz.
Hence the emergence of poor, self-enclosed neighbourhoods estranging themselves from the agglomeration to which they belong. It should be pointed out here that the field data Wacquant uses are outdated: they go back to the s and early s. But segregation and racialization processes have clearly radicalized since then in some French urban renewal zones.
Body-Gendrot rightly stresses that the zones lost 5. But that does not mean that as the population declined, living conditions improved for those who had to stay put. Today, 7. In Parias urbains [ Urban Outcasts ], he argues that French housing projects are not ghettos on two grounds: 1 Housing project residents, particularly the young population, have internalized the ideology of a unified and egalitarian citizenry. These two arguments probably call for some minor readjustments.
They are acutely aware of the whole panoply of inequalities and differences, and they experience racism on a daily basis — which compromises their allegiance to the French republican ideology. It seems increasingly difficult to maintain that the stigma in France basically attaches to the area and not so much to ethnicity.
Besides, politicians are not the only ones who resort to ethnic identities. Ethnic categorization is becoming an ordinary means of identifying oneself and others. Body-Gendrot herself recently admitted that the ethnicization of social relations in France has intensified — despite the non-acknowledgment of ethnic identities in the public sphere. So the symbolic walls around urban renewal zones turn out to be quite sturdy and every bit as impermeable as physical barriers.
Once promulgated, French legislation is not subject to judicial review. The French judiciary is fully independent from the executive and legislative branches. The judiciary is subject to European Union mandates, which guide national law. This has been the case in the Court of Cassation since , in the Council of State since , and now even in the civil courts.
In there were , active personnel in the French armed services. An additional , served in the Gendarmerie Nationale, which is heavily armed. Reserves totaled 21, from all services. France's strategic nuclear forces in had 4, active personnel, of which 2, were Navy personnel, 1, Air Force, and 41 Gendarmarie Nationale. The French have the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world with a suspected total of weapons. The Army in numbered , military and 28, civilian personnel. Included were 7, members of the Foreign Legion, a 14, member marine force and an estimated 2, Special Operations Forces, as part of the French Army.
Equipment included main battle tanks, 1, reconnaissance vehicles, armored infantry fighting vehicles, 4, armored personnel carriers, and artillery pieces towed. The French Navy numbered 46, active personnel and 10, civilians in For that year, the Navy was equipped with 10 modern submarines 4 SSBNs and 6 SSNs , 34 principal surface combatants including one CVN and one CVH or helicopter carrier , and 85 other ships for mine warfare, amphibious operations, and logistics and support.
France had 6, naval aviation personnel. There were also 2, naval marines, including commandos. The Navy also provided coast guard services and fishery protection. The French Air Force numbered 65, active members, plus 5, civilians, and operated combat capable aircraft. France maintains substantial forces abroad in a number of countries, current and former possessions, and protectorates.
These forces are supported by aircraft and naval ships in the Indian and Pacific oceans, and in the Carribean. Troops are also deployed on peacekeeping missions in several different regions and countries. France joined the WTO in France is also a founding member of the European Union. In December , the country announced an intention to increase participation in the NATO military wing once again. France is one of the most richly endowed countries of Europe. The favorable climate, extensive areas of rich soil, and long-established tradition of skilled agriculture have created ideal conditions for a thriving farm economy.
Agriculture and the agro-food industries account for a larger share of economic activity than in many other west European nations. Large deposits of iron ore, a wellintegrated network of power plants, important domestic reserves of natural gas , good transport, and high standards of industrial workmanship have made the French industrial complex one of the most modern in Europe.
After World War II , France's economy was stronger than it had been in the period between the two world wars. But on the debit side were the extremely high costs of France's colonial campaigns in Indochina and North Africa; the periodic lack of confidence of French investors in the nation's economy, resulting in the largescale flight of funds; and the successive devaluations of the franc. Through most of the s and early s, the French economy expanded steadily, with GDP more than doubling between and Further oil price increases in — 80 marked the beginning of a prolonged recession, with high inflation, high unemployment, balance-of-payments deficits, declining private investment, and shortages in foreign exchange reserves.
However, GDP grew by an annual average of 2. By the late s, however, the economy began to record higher growth rates. In the French economy grew by 3. Unemployment, however, remained high at To combat this, the Socialist-led coalition of Lionel Jospin enacted legislation cutting the work week to 35 hours in However, France's exports increased at a greater rate than imports, fueling the economy. France in fell from being the world's fourth-largest industrialized economy to fifth, being replaced by the United Kingdom.
In , real GDP growth was 1. In , real GDP growth was expected to slow to 1. France and the United States are the world's top two exporting countries in defense products, agricultural goods, and services. Taxes remain the highest in the G-8 industrialized countries, and the tax structure is seen as a hindrance to business activity.
The fastest-growing sectors of the economy have been telecommunications, aerospace, consulting services, meat and milk products, public works, insurance and financial services, and recreation, culture, and sports. Although the government has privatized many large companies, banks, and insurers, it still controls large sectors of the economy, including energy, transportation, and the defense industry.
The French social model, characterized by heavy state involvement in the economy, a tax on wealth, and generous benefits for workers, has proved to be a strong disincentive to growth and job creation. Unemployment, at 9. The pension system and rising healthcare costs strain public finances. Attempts to liberalize the economy have met strong resistance from labor unions and the left. Pension reforms proposed by the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin in early were met by huge protests and strikes in France.
Discontent with the economy played a large role in France's rejection of the EU constitution in May Violent unrest in hundreds of towns erupted in the fall of , triggered by frustration over high unemployment among urban youth. The CIA defines GDP as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year and computed on the basis of purchasing power parity PPP rather than value as measured on the basis of the rate of exchange based on current dollars.
The annual growth rate of GDP was estimated at 1. The average inflation rate in was 1. It was estimated that agriculture accounted for 2. Household consumption includes expenditures of individuals, households, and nongovernmental organizations on goods and services, excluding purchases of dwellings. It was estimated that for the period to household consumption grew at an average annual rate of 1. It was estimated that in about 6. In , the French workforce was estimated at In the latest year for which data was available , Workers freely exercise their right to strike unless it is prohibited due to public safety.
Many unions are members of international labor organizations. Collective bargaining is prevalent. It is illegal to discriminate against union activity. This amount provides a decent standard of living for a family. The standard legal workweek is set at 35 hours with restrictions on overtime. Children under age 16 are not permitted to work, and there are restrictions pertaining to employment of those under Child labor laws are strictly enforced. The labor code and other laws provide for work, safety, and health standards. Agriculture remains a vital sector of the French economy, even though it engages only about 3.
In , France's fulltime farm labor force of , was still the second-highest in the EU. France is one of the leaders in Europe in the value of agricultural exports — chiefly wheat, sugar, wine, and beef. Tropical commodities, cotton, tobacco, and vegetable oils are among the chief agricultural imports. About There were , farms in France in , of which only , were managed by full-time farmers. Since the s, the number of farms has declined and the size of individual holdings has increased.
By there were about 1. Average farm size had grown to around 50 hectares acres in Because French law provides for equal rights of inheritance, traditionally much of the farmland came to be split up into small, scattered fragments. One of the major aims of postwar plans for rural improvement has been the consolidation of these through reallotment. Such consolidation also fosters the growth of mechanization.
In there were 1,, tractors fourth in the world after the United States, Japan , and Italy compared with , in , and 1,, in The most productive farms are in northern France, but specialized areas, such as the vegetable farms of Brittany, the great commercial vineyards of the Languedoc, Burgundy, and Bordeaux districts, and the flower gardens, olive groves, and orchards of Provence, also contribute heavily to the farm economy. Among agricultural products, cereals wheat, barley, oats, corn, and sorghum , industrial crops sugar beets, flax , root crops potatoes , and wine are by far the most important.
In , the wheat crop totaled 39,, tons and barley, 11,, tons. Other totals in tons included oats, ,; corn, 16,,; sugar beets, 30,,; rapeseed, 3,, tons; and sunflower seed, 1,, tons. Wine production in totaled million liters from 7,, tons of grapes. There is large-scale production of fruits, chiefly apples, pears, peaches, and cherries. In , farm animals included Poultry and rabbits are raised in large numbers, both for farm families and for city markets. Meat production in included 1,, tons of beef and veal, 2,, tons of pork, 1,, tons of poultry, and , tons of mutton.
Dairy farming flourishes in the rich grasslands of Normandy. Total cows' milk production in was 25,, tons. France produces some kinds of cheese; in , production totaled about 1,, tons. Butter and egg production were , and 1,, tons, respectively. France's 4, km 2, mi of coastline, dotted with numerous small harbors, has long supported a flourishing coastal and highseas fishing industry.
French aquaculture consists mainly of oyster and mussel production; most of the facilities are located along the English Channel and the Atlantic coasts. Herring, skate, whiting, sole, mackerel, tuna, sardines, lobsters, and mussels make up the principal seafood catch, along with cod, mostly from the fishing banks off northern North America , where French fishing vessels have sailed for centuries.
Production of canned seafood products in totaled 80, tons, mostly tuna, mackerel, and sardines. The United Kingdom and Norway are France's leading seafood suppliers. Forestry production in France has been encouraged by the government since the 16th century, when wood was a strategic resource in building warships. Although much of the original forest cover was cut in the course of centuries, strict forest management practices and sizable reforestation projects during the last years have restored French forests considerably.
Since , the government has subsidized the afforestation and replanting of 2. The reforestation project in the Landes region of southwestern France has been particularly successful. During — , the forested area increased by an annual average of 0.
There were some 16 million hectares The forestry and wood products sector employed , persons in 35, companies in Production of roundwood in was Hardwood log production reached 6. Softwood log production totaled 13 million cu m million cu ft in In December , a hurricane hit France and damaged an estimated 50 million cu m 1. France was a major European mineral producer, despite significant declines in the production of traditional minerals in recent years.
France was among the leading producers of coal, was Europe's only producer of andalusite, and counted iron among its top export commodities in France was also self-suffi cient in salt, potash, fluorspar, and talc. Talc de Luzenac, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, was the leading producer of talc in the world.
In addition, France had sizable deposits of antimony, bauxite, magnesium, pyrites, tungsten, and certain radioactive minerals. One of the world's most developed economies, France had to make considerable changes in the structure of its industries, particularly those mineral industries controlled by the state. Prior to , the state's heavy economic and political involvement was a main element of national mineral policy. Cessation of government subsidies to unprofitable operations, cheaper foreign sources, and depletion of mineral reserves have greatly affected the industry, particularly bauxite, coal, iron ore, lead, uranium, and zinc.
The government has made efforts to promote the private sector, to proceed with a program of privatization, and to reduce the dependence of state-owned companies on subsidies. To encourage exploration, the government in passed a law expediting the granting of surveying and mining licenses. Production figures for were: agricultural and industrial limestone, 12, metric tons; hydraulic cement, 20 million tons; salt rock, refined brine, marine, and in solution , 6. In France also produced copper; gold; silver; powder tungsten; uranium; elemental bromine; refractory clays; diatomite; lime; nitrogen; mineral, natural, and iron oxide pigments; Thomas slag phosphates; pozzolan and lapilli; and soda ash and sodium sulfate.
No iron ore was produced in ; the iron ore basin, stretching from Lorraine northward, used to produce more than 50 million tons per year, but its high phosphorus and low iron content limited its desirability.
Terres Rouges Mine, the last to operate in Lorraine, closed in France ceased producing bauxite named after Les Baux, in southern France in Mining of lead and zinc has completely ceased. France's energy and power sector is marked by modest reserves of oil, natural gas and coal, and a heavy reliance upon nuclear energy to meet its energy needs. As of 1 January , France had estimated proven oil reserves of 0.
In , crude oil production was 28, barrels per day, but declined to 23, barrels per day in In , domestic demand for oil came to an estimated 1, As a result of the disparity between consumption and production, France has had to import crude oil. In , net imports of crude oil came to 1. Like its oil resources, France's coal and natural gas reserves are very limited. As of 1 January , the country had an estimated billion cu ft of proven natural gas reserves.
Production and consumption of natural gas in totaled an estimated billion cu ft and 1, France's recoverable coal reserves, production, and consumption in were estimated at In April , France closed its last operating coal mine and has since relied on coal imports to meet its demand for coal. During the s France became increasingly dependent on outside sources for petroleum. Although petroleum and natural gas continued to be produced in France itself as they are today , the nation came to rely almost entirely on imports from oil fields of the Middle East , putting a heavy strain on the country's foreign exchange reserves.
Discoveries of large supplies of natural gas and petroleum in the Sahara Desert changed the outlook radically; in France was able to meet almost half its fuel needs from countries within the franc zone. Petroleum production from the Saharan fields rose spectacularly from 8. Although France lost title to the Saharan deposits after Algerian independence, arrangements were made with the Algerian government to keep up the flow of oil to France.
Developments in the s exposed the limitations of this strategy. Algeria took controlling interest in French oil company subsidiaries in The oil shocks of the mid-and late s drove France's fuel and energy imports up; in , fuel imports accounted for In response, France began an energy conservation program, but oil consumption continued to increase between and , when fuel imports made up Mergers involving France's top oil companies in and created the fourth-largest oil company in the world, TotalFinaElf.
France's electric power sector is marked by a heavy reliance upon nuclear power. France has become the world's leading producer of nuclear power per capita, with the world's second-greatest nuclear power capacity exceeded only by the United States. Nuclear power accounts for In , France had an installed generating capacity estimated at GW, with production and consumption estimated at All electric power generation and distribution is controlled by the state-owned monopoly, Electricite de France EdF. However, France has slowly begun to deregulate its electricity sector and to privatize EdF.
France is also Europe's second-largest power market, exceeded only by Germany. Industry has expanded considerably since World War II, with particularly significant progress in the electronics, transport, processing, and construction industries. France is the world's fourth-leading industrial power, after the United States, Japan, and Germany although France was surpassed by the United Kingdom in as the world's fourth-largest economy.
In , the industrial sector accounted for The state has long played an active role in French industry, but government involvement was greatly accelerated by a series of nationalization measures enacted by the Socialists in By , about one-third of French industry — 3, companies in all — was under state control.
However, there was some privatization during — 88, later resumed in , with 21 state-owned industries, banks, and insurance companies scheduled to be sold. Although substantial progress had been made in privatization in the early s, the government still held a majority stake in such industries as aeronautics, defense, automobiles, energy, and telecommunications. Although France's industrial output has quadrupled since , by nearly 1. Th is shrinkage reflects not only steadily rising productivity, but also the major restructuring of industry due to globalization and the instability of oil markets.
In this respect, French industry has seen a rapid concentration of its firms and a sharp rise in direct investment abroad. As of , French companies controlled some 15, subsidiaries outside France, employing 2. France is the third-largest destination of inward investment in the world, after the United States and the United Kingdom, above all in the fields of information technology, pharmaceuticals, machine tools, and precision instruments. The steel industry has suffered because of international competition and a general shift away from steel to aluminum and plastics.
The French aluminum industry is dominated by a factory in Dunkirk owned by Pechiney, which was privatized at the end of The French automotive industry ranks third in world exports. The domestic market, however, has fallen prey to foreign competitors, especially from Germany and Japan, forcing the French auto makers to make greater use of robots, lay off workers, and open plants abroad.
The French aircraft industry, not primarily a mass producer, specializes in sophisticated design and experimental development. Some of its models, such as the Caravelle and the Mirage IV, have been used in over 50 countries. Airbus was incorporated in under French law as a simplified joint stock company. The Airbus A will seat passengers and be the world's largest commercial passenger jet when it enters service in The chemical industry, although not as strong as its rivals in Germany and the United States, ranks fourth in the world.
The pharmaceuticals, perfume, and cosmetics industry is highly significant. France is the world's largest exporter of perfumes. The textile industry is also important: France is the world's fourth-largest exporter of women's clothing. However, foreign competition has cut into the French textile industry. The agreement runs until , and was designed to give European textile manufacturers time to adjust to a world of unfettered competition. Nevertheless, barely a month after the EU-China agreement was signed, China reached its quotas for sweaters, followed soon after by blouses, bras, T-shirts, and flax yarn.
Tens of millions of garments piled up in warehouses and customs checkpoints, which affected both retailers and consumers. Agribusiness is an increasingly important industry, supplying France's vast number of restaurants and hotels. The food processing industry is a major force in the French economy. Cooperative ventures are particularly important to the food industry. France is the world's second-largest wine producer after Italy. It is the world's second-largest exporter of cheeses.
The great concentrations of French industry are in and around Paris, in the coal basin of northern France, in Alsace and Lorraine, and around Lyon and Clermont-Ferrand. French industry, in general, is strong on inventiveness and inclined toward small-scale production of high-quality items. The French government offers subsidies and easy credit to firms undertaking relocation, reconversion, or plant modernization. French inventors played a pivotal role in the development of photography and the internal combustion engine. To French ingenuity the world also owes the first mechanical adding machine , the parachute , the electric generator , the refrigerator , and the neon lamp France is a leading exporter of nuclear technology and has developed the first commercial vitrification plant for the disposal of radioactive wastes by integrating them in special glass and then encasing the glass in stainless steel containers for burial.
The French no longer launch their own satellites, however, preferring instead to contribute to the European Space Agency. In , the CNRS employed 19, researchers and engineers and 7, technicians and administrative staff. In addition, there are well over other scientific and technological academies, learned societies, and research institutes. France has a large number of universities and colleges that offer courses in basic and applied sciences. It has departments of mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and earth sciences, and includes a planetarium and cinema.
In , of all bachelor's degrees awarded, The heart of French commerce, both domestic and foreign, is Paris. One-third of the country's commercial establishments are in the capital, and in many fields Parisian control is complete. The major provincial cities act as regional trade centers. Dunkerque and Rouen are important industrial ports. The trend away from traditional small retailers is seen as a threat to tradition and, in some areas of the country, government assistance is offered to small retailers.
Even so, larger retail outlets and hypermarkets have gained ground. Mail order sales and specialty chain stores have also grown. In , metropolitan France had about 30, wholesale enterprises.
In , there were 5, supermarkets. In , there were about department stores. Among the 50 largest commercial companies in France are the department stores Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. A value-added tax VAT of Business hours are customarily on weekdays from 9 am to noon and from 2 to 6 pm. Normal banking hours are 9 am to pm, Monday — Friday. Most banks are closed on Saturdays; to serve a particular city or larger district, one bank will usually open Saturday mornings from 9 am to noon. Store hours are generally from 10 am to 7 pm, Monday — Saturday. Most businesses close for three or four weeks in August.
Advertising in newspapers and magazines and by outdoor signs is widespread. A limited amount of advertising is permitted on radio and television. Trade fairs are held regularly in Paris and other large cities. Leading French exports, by major categories, are capital goods machinery, heavy electrical equipment, transport equipment, and aircraft , consumer goods automobiles, textiles, and leather , and semifinished products mainly chemicals, iron, and steel.
Major imports are fuels, machinery and equipment, chemicals and paper goods, and consumer goods. The French trade balance was favorable in for the first time since , but after imports rose at a higher rate than exports. Trade deficits generally increased until the s. From to , the trade deficit nearly tripled. Among factors held responsible were heavy domestic demand for consumer products not widely produced in France, narrowness of the range of major exports, and a concentration on markets not ripe for expansion of exports from France, notably the EU and OPEC countries.
In the following years a growing change in the trade balance developed, and the deficit narrowed appreciably in In all, France is the world's fourth-largest exporter of goods and the third-largest provider of services. France is the largest producer and exporter of farm products in Europe. Garnering the highest revenues of export commodities from France are transport machinery, including automobiles, vehicle parts, and aircraft. French wine, perfumes, and cosmetics represent about a quarter each of the world market in their respective categories.
Leading suppliers were Germany Between and , France had a constant deficit in its balance of payments. A currency reform devalued the franc by With payments surpluses during. After that, France's trade position deteriorated sharply. During the mids, the trade deficit generally moderated; the current accounts balance recovered in from the heavy deficits of the past.
In , the merchandise trade account recorded a surplus after having recorded a significant deficit of Trade in industrial goods including military equipment and a surplus in the manufacturing sector the first since were responsible for the boost in exports. Economic growth rose throughout due to exports to English-speaking countries and a strong economy in Europe. Although France in recent years has run consistent trade and current account surpluses, the country's trade balance showed a deficit in , the first since It turned around in France for several years had posted surpluses on the services and investment income balances.
The Banque de France, founded in , came completely under government control in It is the bank of issue, sets discount rates and maximum discounts for each bank, regulates public and private finance, and is the Treasury depository. In , a provisional government headed by Gen. France's and Europe's biggest bank is a curiosity. It has preserved its rural base and plays the leading role in providing farmers with state-subsidized loans.
Ultimately, BNP won outright control of Paribas, but only By virtue of the Banking Act of January , the main regulatory authority for the banking sector is the Commission Bancaire. It is presided over by the governor of the Banque de France. Public issues of stocks and bonds may be floated by corporations or by limited partnerships with shares. Publicly held companies that wish their stock to be traded on the exchange must receive prior authorization from the Stock Exchange Commission within the Ministry of Finance.
In January , the two principal Paris stock exchanges were merged. The six provincial exchanges specialize in shares of medium-size and small firms in their respective regions. In , the CAC 40 index was up 7. Measured by stock market capitalization, the Paris Bourse is the third-largest in Europe after London and Frankfurt. The Lyon Bourse is the most active provincial stock exchange. French legislation, providing for the liberalization of financial services, transposed the directive into national law.
Insurance is supervised by the government directorate of insurance, while reinsurance is regulated by the Ministry of Commerce. In , a total of 32 major insurance companies were nationalized, and a central reinsurance institute was organized. All private insurance companies are required to place a portion of their reinsurance with the central reinsurance institute.
In France, workers' compensation, tenants' property damage, third-party automobile, hunter's liability insurance, and professional indemnity for some professions are among those insurance lines that are compulsory. However, as of , the insurance sector was being shifted completely into private hands. The combining of insurance services with retail banking has become fashionable in recent years, hence the neologism bancassurance.
Another development has been to forge alliances across the Rhine in Germany. The fiscal year runs from 1 January to 31 December. Deficits have been commonplace, but in recent years, efforts have been made to cut back on the growth of taxes and government spending and, since , to remove major state enterprises from the expense of government ownership. Government outlays by function were as follows: general public services, As with most industrialized democratic systems, France's tax system is complex and nuanced, though also subject to recent movements to reductions and simplifications.
The basic corporate income tax rate for filings in was Short-term capital gains are taxed according to the progressive individual income tax schedule. Individual income tax in France is assessed in accordance with a progressive schedule of statutory rates up to