Sphère publique, intérêts privés
Enquête sur un grand brouillage
Public sphere, private interests
Investigating the blurring of boundaries
Although the border between the public and the private sectors has never been particularly clear, it has recently reached new levels of obscurity. A zone of unprecedented contact and exchange has been created under the influence of a neo-liberal shift that has made the regulatory state a key player in the governance of private markets.
As a result, France has now seen a Minister for the Economy, who is also a former international lawyer, resorting to private arbitration to resolve a dispute between the state and a private individual; six former Secretary-Generals to the French President (or deputies), who subsequently join major Parisian law firms; fleets of lawyers called to assist the state in securing a public-private partnership, or to ensure the IPO of the Areva Group, etc.
New and rapidly-rising figures, business lawyers are the embodiment of this new blurring of boundaries. By tracing the role the profession has acquired within the confines of the state and the market, the authors of this fascinating investigation explore the contours of this grey area at the edge of political and administrative institutions. Where did it come from ? How did it come to prosper ? What does this ascension cost us today, both politically and democratically ?