A watershed in the politics of public management in France was crossed in 2001, when the French president and prime minister signed off a law initiated by the French Parliament to reform the planning and control of public expenditure. This legislation, the Organic Law on Laws of Finance of August 1, 2001 (generally known as the LOLF), requires public authorities to adopt performance-oriented ideas and public management approaches, and seeks to rebalance executive and parliamentary powers over the public purse. This article uses the LOLF as a case study to gain insight into the politics of public management policymaking in France as developed in recent decades. The article starts with an original historiographic account of the policymaking around the law, follows with a research argument explaining the policy choice, and concludes with some field-level research questions on the politics of public management reform in France
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