Unitary state and asymmetrical decentralization in France: solution or source of conflicts?

Contrary to the preconceived ideas, France is no longer the paradigmatic centralized unitary state. Indeed, the country practices an asymmetric decentralization enshrined in the Constitution, and other laws, as a solution to eventual political conflicts with the overseas territories resulting of the colonial era. Since the 1990s, asymmetric decentralization also concerns, on an administrative plane rather than on a political one, the territorial entities of the so-called metropolitan or continental territory. Today, in view of the future introduction of a “right to territorial differentiation” in the Constitution, we need to reflect on the possibilities of combining differentiation, regionalization and reform of the State, without opening the pandora's box that would lead to the local withdrawal, electoral apathy or, worse, the end of peaceful coexistence based on a minimum respect of the principle of equality before the law.