Political mistrust is a French speciality. Political scientists are constantly measuring its range and intensity. Here, Luc Rouban has set out to understand its mechanisms. He meticulously revisits a decade of opinion polls and surveys observing that the decline in social recognition is a key factor in this mistrust. Much more than their European neighbours, and regardless of their position in society, French people remain bitter about the gap that has emerged between the Republic's ideal of fairness and the little value the state seems to award to their individual merit, through its institutions and actions. A new attitude toward politics is emerging, in which the temptation of authoritarianism is strong, in which the quest for personal and socioprofessional efficiency wins out over collective goals, and which is dominated by the idea that the political system is rotten and deceitful, and has nothing good to offer.