Is Tocqueville Really Outdated? About Ezra N. Suleiman's book "Les Ressorts cachés de la réussite française"
Ezra N.Suleiman answers in the negative. French society, he contends, does not suffer from any deep disease nor any specific blockage. These words are all the more stricking coming from a Princeton University professor (USA). Witness, moreover, the economic and social progress, only hampered by the organisation, training and practices of governmental elites (as well as the confusion between the roles of politicians and senior civil servants).
Nevertheless, replies Erhard Friedberg, we should not delude ourselves about "French success". Its modernisation is not finished yet and still stumbles against deep blockages and a certain organisational and managerial archaism. E.N. Suleiman tends also to see only the good sides when it comes to the role of the State, which has not been as positive as he thinks. And last, and as sharply illustrated in the social crisis of the Fall of 1995, the republican model which confers on a central State guardianship of society as a whole, must be radically rethought.