CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Revisiting the aims of the program launched in 1964 by the Centre de sociologie des organisations (CSO) to empirically study the French administration, this issue illustrates the importance of studying the State via its administration, in conjunction with a perspective grounded in the sociology of public policy. By examining the ebb and flow of this approach's popularity in France since the mid-1960s, and by highlighting the contributions and limitations of research carried out within the program entitled “Administrations in the Face of Change”, this introductory article argues for a sociology of the nuts and bolts of policymaking. Through a cross-cutting and cross-sectoral approach, both at the central and territorial levels, such an approach sheds light on issues of permanence and change, but also provides an answer to the ultimate question: what holds the State together?


  • State
  • administration
  • change
  • centralization
  • decentralization
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