New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 1994. The focus of the study is on the party's leadership group and, in particular, how it was affected by several phases of internal conflict, the most serious of which occurred in 1938 and in 1946.
Choice and Democratic Order applies theories of group conflicts within political parties in a discussion of the internal politics of the French Socialist Party (SFIO) from the late 1930s to the 1940s. Having analysed the formal and informal structure of the party in 1937, Professor Graham gives a detailed account of the clash which took place between the leadership and two dissenting groups, the Gauche Revolutionnaire and the Bataille Socialiste, prior to the Royan congress of June 1938. This conflict is compared with that which occurred in the post-war party during 1946, when Guy Mollet led a successful revolt against the party leaders and became General Secretary of the organization after the 38th National Congress. Mollet began with the intention of preserving the existing alliance with the Communists, but as the latter moved into opposition he accepted the necessity of the centre alliance, the so-called 'Third Force' in French politics.
Table of Contents
1. The internal politics of political parties
2. The French Socialist Party in 1937
3. The internal crisis of early 1938: the
preliminary phases, January to mid-March
4. The Royan Congress of June 1938 and the
defeat of the Gauche Revolutionnaire
5. The years 1938-1945: collapse and
reconstruction of the SFIO
6. The succession crisis of 1946
7. Epilogue: The Socialists and the advent of
the Third Force