Michel Offerlé

A History of France’s MEDEF Employers’ Association Publication date : June 6, 2013

Michel Offerlé is a professor at the Ecole Normal Supérieure and a member of the editorial board of Genèses, an international quarterly magazine about the social sciences. He previously taught at the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques and at the Sorbonne.

Created in 1998, the Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF or Movement of French Enterprises) is an association of French employers, most of whom represent small and medium businesses. Its current president is Laurence Parisot, who succeeded Ernest-Antoine Seillière.
In this history of the association the author describes the origins of the MEDEF and answers such questions as: What have been its main activities since its founding? What does it really do? What have been the main undertakings of its two presidents?
Sociologists have traditionally focused on the working class and labour movements; they have less frequently studied the world of management and employers. This book opens a window on the inner workings of the French managerial class. It traces the history of the association to the present, while seeking to place the MEDEF in the context of French society in order to understand its real role.
In addition, the author explains how certain less well-known organisations work, including the Association of French Enterprises (AFEP), a small circle of CAC 40 businesses; and he examines such sensitive issues as the secret funding of the UIMM (the Employers’ Union of Metallurgical Industries).
This is an exceptional work backed by many detailed interviews of the MEDEF’s main representatives.

• A thorough examination of a key organisation in French economic and political life
• The workings of the MEDEF and its power struggles
• The MEDEF is scheduled to elect a new president in July 2013