Protocol, image, and discourse in political leadership competition: the case of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, 1997-2002

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This article examines the relationship between Prime Minister Jospin and President Chirac in the period 1997 to 2002. It is concerned in particular with symbolism, discourse and protocol, and how these have mediated the political competition between Chirac and Jospin. We develop a framework of analysis with several main strands. We consider the effects of the institutions of the Fifth Republic upon the political conduct of Prime Minister and President. We observe the perceived character traits of the individuals concerned, as well as the character traits expected of the offices of President and Prime Minister. We investigate the influence of the past upon the behaviour of Chirac and Jospin in the present, both in terms of notions of regime crisis which configured the institutions in the first place, and in relation to the image of previous holders of the offices (especially Charles de Gaulle and Franois Mitterrand).

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalModern and Contemporary France
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


  • Jospin, Chirac, symbolism, discourse, protocol, Fifth Republic, Charles de Gaulle, Franois Mitterrand

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