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Survival manual of a local elected representative

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Can we rely on the alternation to steal a city ? Not won, reveals this test to put in the hands of those who prepare the municipal governments.

This is a book, singular, ideally positioned at the crossroads intellectuals and geographical of the country. First, because in order to explain the political evolution of the 236 most major French cities since 1983, the authors mobilize the knowledge from several social sciences that are not always good bedfellows : politics, sociology, economics, demography… Then, because, armed with these frameworks, and supplemented by a good dose of statistics – which sometimes makes the reading a little austere, our four teachers are scrupulous care to determine, for each city, the weight of national factors and local factors could explain the election results.

The alternation, a myth at the local level

The most surprising is without a doubt the stability of the electoral behavior of municipalities: more than 46 % of the cities studied have not changed majority civic for the past six elections, and 20% have turned to edge only once. Only 33 % of cities have experienced regular changes in government. These results contrast with the idea of a wave election deep that would contribute to the remodelling of the balance between the left and right from one election to the other. A stability that is not without consequences on the management of the city, maintaining the obsessions of the right (good management of local public finances) as of the left (the attractiveness and the creation of jobs).

The main conclusion of this perfect manual of election strategy at the destination of the future candidates : the greater volatility of the national policy, the limited influence of elected officials on the sociology of their cities, and a certain levelling of social disparities between the cities, are all factors over which local officials have little or no outlet. Their priority should be to maximize the quality of their economic balance sheet, a balance sheet that explains in a decisive way the failovers in the cities “unstable” politically. Good news for the citizens, taxpayers…

Towns left, cities of the right by Richard Nadeau, Martial Foucault, Bruno Jérôme, Véronique Jérôme-Speziari, Presses de Sciences po, 260 p., 23 euros.

Presses de Sciences po

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