Definition of dirigisme in US English:



  • State control of economic and social matters.

    • ‘At first sight, you might think this fact vindicates economic dirigisme - but only if you had no idea what the Italian state is actually like.’
    • ‘Where it was once frozen in dirigisme under Edward Heath, it became respectable to call for privatisation and deregulation.’
    • ‘While coal producers were ambiguous about supranational dirigisme, most of them hoping for some degree of support for their troubled industry, steel producers were generally hostile to this aspect of the Schuman Plan.’
    • ‘The large bureaucracies that implement dirigisme are a dead weight on society, but support the ruling elites with whom they share the spoils.’
    • ‘Monti, too, has voiced dismay over reinvigorated dirigisme.’
    • ‘From forcefully chaperoning the merger of two French pharmaceutical giants to shoring up ailing engineering group Alstom, Sarkozy has been giving new meaning to the old concept of dirigisme.’
    • ‘The collapse of communism finally undid socialist dirigisme.’
    • ‘Thus, the governing élite of united Italy adopted dirigisme and an active role of the state in the economy under the pressure of events, rather than for theoretical reasons.’
    • ‘At the heart of Europe's reticence to follow the USA into the information free-for-all is a curious mixture of Continental, right wing dirigisme and social democratic, anti - market prejudice.’
    • ‘The French have ditched their rhetoric of diversity to indulge in traditional dirigisme: the building of a fortress company to defend French interests.’
    • ‘Examples of active industrial policy range from the French tradition of indicative economic planning or dirigisme to the various degrees of government support and direction in East Asia.’
    • ‘Instead, the Bush administration opted for the type of dirigisme one normally associates with a country such as France.’
    • ‘Whether called French dirigisme… the quest for shareholder value… or dynamic American capitalism, they all have the same bitter aftertaste: neither voters, retirees, nor shareholders are likely to get what they were promised.’
    • ‘Dormois, like The Economist, is a critic of French economic policy (its taste for dirigisme, its inability to rely on competition, its illiteracy in ‘orthodox’ economics).’
    • ‘Will Coalition governments now talk about spending money according to the imperatives of this new dirigisme?’
    • ‘One corollary of war-state dirigisme - especially in the United States - is that centrist left parties will re-badge themselves as the new economic rationalists.’
    • ‘Look, no Ministers of Transport, no Euro-directives, no dirigisme.’
    • ‘Mr Chirac is on the right but, like most of the French right, his economics owe more to dirigisme than Adam Smith.’
    • ‘Even the public sector-infatuated Scottish public is beginning to doubt the gospel of dirigisme.’


1950s: from French, from the verb diriger, from Latin dirigere ‘to direct’.