Corporate Governance: The End of “L’Exception Francaise”?

Thursday, January 1st, 1998 at 12:00 am by Olivier Pastre
Olivier Pastre, Corporate Governance: The End of “L’Exception Francaise”?, 1998 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 79

“Like the chorus of old men in the antique tragedies, company directors silently sit by and witness decisive acts. They only move to praise or moan after the event which proves the protagonists right or wrong. The fiction of an ‘absent presence’ is convenient in the theatre where all is fiction.” Was this phrase drawn from one of the recent reports on the topic of corporate governance in France? Not at all. It comes from Pour une réforme de l’entreprise, a book published by François Bloch-Lainé in 1963! So, has nothing changed in France and do the same questions, in many fields, always call for the same answers? The aim of this article is to try to understand the reality of French capitalism better by comparing it with its foreign counterparts and by attempting to see whether, since the corporate governance issue has come back into fashion in France, things have changed, or, to the contrary, remain the same.

Author Information

Professor, University of Paris VIII