Eszter-Petronella SOÓS PhD

Notre-Dame de Paris

7. An Introduction to French Bashing

Those who follow international current affairs often stumle upon articles that criticize France on account of its expansive public sector, its high taxes, its attraction to red tape, its competitiveness and so on and so forth. Many medias, including Anglo-Saxon journals are in the front line of calling France “the sick man of Europe”.

And now the French has a name for this phenomenon: they call it French bashing.

Here are a few recent examples of what is known as French bashing without a real effort to collect all of the cases:

Who are French bashers according to the French? Credit rating agencies, British and American liberal (= libertarian or neo-conservative) economists, journalists and thinkers who do not accept the differences of French culture, who want to impose their values on France, who want France to open itself up to the globalized culture, to international competition and so on. Those who have no respect for the so called French model. Those who do not accept French republicanism as an alternative to Anglo-Saxon liberalism.

Of course, “the other side” has its important arguments, too. So in the coming days, I will be exploring this interesting debate in depth. What is French bashing, how does it work, why does it work, why it isn’t the debate you think it is, and ultimately why only the French can put an end to it? That is all to come shortly, so stay tuned.

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