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At least since the French Revolution, France has the peculair distinction of simultaneously fascinating, charming and exasperating its neighbours and foreign observers. Contemporary France provides an essential introduction for students of French politics and society, exploring contemporary developments while placing them in a deeper historical, intellectual, cultural and social context that makes for insightful analysis. Thus, chapters on France's economic policy and welfare state, its foreign and European policies and its political movements and recent institutional developments are informed by an analysis of the country's unique political and institutional traditions, distinct forms of nationalism and citizenship, dynamic intellectual life and recent social trends. Summaries of key political, economic and social movements and events are displayed as exhibits.