Comparing France and Norway: Why? How? Towards a Contextual Analysis
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book presents updated, parallel accounts of institutional change and political leadership in two European polities – France and Norway – that are rarely thought of as a likely pair. It aims to try to ascertain the extent to which institutional change is driven by the common challenge of globalization and the extent to which globalization drives a convergence of political forms. The book analyzes the role of leadership in framing responses to globalization at various levels of government – national, regional and local. France is a Great Power and a driving force in European integration. Norway’s international position is marked by carefully managed dependencies and deep euro-scepticism to the extent of having twice rejected European Union membership in national referenda. France and Norway have been chosen as cases well suited for a test of the contextuality thesis.