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The Neoliberal RepublicCorporate Lawyers, Statecraft, and the Making of Public-Private France$
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Antoine Vauchez and Pierre France

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781501752544

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501752544.001.0001

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The Public-Private Foundations of the Neoliberal State

The Public-Private Foundations of the Neoliberal State

(p.55) 2 The Public-Private Foundations of the Neoliberal State
The Neoliberal Republic

Antoine Vauchez

, Pierre France

Samuel Moyn

Cornell University Press

This chapter maps out the rapidly growing field of public–private brokerage by assessing the scope and breadth of French revolving doors. The media discussion stirred up by the so-called pantouflages — a slang word for the practice of civil servants and politicians joining the private sector — focused almost entirely on politicians and the rising risks of conflict of interests. It therefore failed to adequately reflect the breadth and diversity of the movement that started in the 1990s between the politico-administrative elite and major business law firms in Paris. By drawing a collective sociological portrait of these pantoufleurs, the chapter reveals a structural view of the new pattern of relationships that have been consolidated at the interface between the state and markets: the type of public positions and resources that are prized by the business bar, and also the type of companies and law firms that hire from the public sector, and the sectoral pathways followed by recruits. As we are able to map out the total social space in which these crossovers move, on either side of the public–private border, it is possible to sketch the field of intermediation and influence that has developed over the course of two decades of the French state's neoliberalization.

Keywords:   public–private brokerage, pantouflages, civil servants, politicians, politico-administrative elite, business law firms, public–private border, French state, neoliberalization, intermediation

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