The Neoliberal Republic

The Neoliberal Republic

Corporate Lawyers, Statecraft, and the Making of Public-Private France

Corpus Juris: The Humanities in Politics and Law

by Antoine Vauchez and Pierre France

Translated by Meg Morley

Foreword by Samuel Moyn

Published by: Cornell University Press

210 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 3 graphs

  • ISBN: 9781501752551
  • Published: January 2021


The Neoliberal Republic traces the corrosive effects that the revolving door between public service and private enrichment has on the French state and its ability to govern and regulate the private sector. Casting a piercing light on this circulation of influence among corporate lawyers and others in the French power elite, Antoine Vauchez and Pierre France analyze how this dynamic, a feature of all Western democracies, has developed in concert with the rise of neoliberalism over the past three decades.

Based on interviews with dozens of public officials in France and a unique biographical database of more than 200 civil servants-turned corporate lawyers, The Neoliberal Republic explores how the always-blurred boundary between public service and private interests has now been critically compromised, enabling the transformation of the regulatory state into either an ineffectual bystander or an active collaborator in the privatization of public welfare. The cumulative effect of these developments, the authors reveal, undermines democratic citizenship and the capacity to imagine the public good.