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French Socialism, Take Two

Hollande, Moscovici, and European Utopianism

A long time coming: France's president, right, and his finance minister. (Regis Duvignau / Courtesy Reuters)

About 20 years ago, François Hollande and Pierre Moscovici co-taught an advanced economics course at Sciences Po, France's elite college for government study. Their stint in education was brief, but their association has endured: Hardly a week after being elected the new president of France, Hollande named Moscovici as his finance minister. 

I sat among the dozens of undergraduates in Hollande and Moscovici's class, held in a nineteenth-century auditorium overlooking a Renaissance garden in the heart of Paris. It was a unique, unguarded environment to discover two men who would later rule France. Moscovici was the sunny one: Charming, charismatic, and enthusiastic, he came to class well prepared, just as his mentor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a bona fide economics professor, was known to do.

Hollande was the dark one: unprepared and unorganized yet certain of his

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