While some leaders toy with the rules, bending them to their own benefit, the citizenry, often complacent in matters of favoritism and other abuses of power, does not easily sanction these acts in the end. This is the paradox of French democracy. Read More
Acts of corruption come one after another, sometimes becoming scandals, each time crushing the confidence of citizens in their elected officials and government institutions a little bit more. When 65% of French people consider politicians "rather corrupt," one might think a state of emergency has been reached.
That this is not the case is the paradox of French democracy. Many are dismayed at this straying from integrity, considering that the legitimacy of governments is one of the foundations of democracy. But while some leaders toy with the rules, bending them to their own benefit, the citizenry, often complacent in matters of favoritism and other abuses of power, does not easily sanction these acts in the end.
In order to understand this, at the very least, contradictory situation, this work approaches the ambiguity that marks these attitudes toward corruption from different angles. It shows, by combining diverse forms of evidence (local monographs, experiments, and reports), the multiplicity of criteria used for passing judgments about corruption. Politics aren't just a matter of morals, but of efficacy and confidence in political institutions. It's the complex and fluid arrangement between these three dimensions which explains the ambivalent attitudes of voters and their tolerance of these acts.