This article examines the genealogy of Scandinavian influence in France since the early 2000s and the shift in mentalities that has taken place over the last fifteen years or so regarding transparency. The analysis focuses on the notion of virtue and argues that the French representation of a virtuous Scandinavia can be interpreted as a Utopia, a counterpart that French society may use to bring about change. Whereas political leadership in France has traditionally been protected by a certain opacity and the lack of clear legislation, nepotism and corruption are no longer accepted by the French people. The main case study is the French press coverage of the Fillon scandal in the 2017 presidential campaign. The article also looks at the legislation on transparency passed under Hollande and Macron and finally asks the question: Is France in fact in the process of becoming more Scandinavian?


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pp. 146-173
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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