Alain Lipietz

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Alain Lipietz
Alain Lipietz attending Dominique Voynet's meeting during the French presidential election, 2007

Alain Lipietz (born September 19, 1947 in Charenton-le-Pont as Alain Guy Lipiec) is a French engineer, economist and politician, a former Member of the European Parliament, and a member of the French Green Party. He has, however, been suspended from the party since 25 March 2014 and is an elected local politician in Val de Bièvre, Paris, France.


Alain Lipietz studied at the École polytechnique (entered in 1966) and the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (diploma in 1971). He then obtained a master's degree in economics (1972).

He became a researcher at the Institut de recherche des transports (transportation research institute, 1971–1973) and at the Centre d'études prospectives d'économie - Mathématiques appliquées à la planification (Center for prospective studies of economics - applied mathematics for planning, 1973–1999). He became a research director at CNRS in 1988. In 1990 he became chief engineer at the Corps of Bridges and Roads (France).

Since the beginning of his career, he has devoted himself to the analysis of social-economic relationships within human communities. He has contributed to the Regulation school of economic thought.

Political activities[edit]

Alain Lipietz is a former Maoist. He was a candidate of Les Verts for the legislative elections of 1986 in Seine-Saint-Denis, and became the national spokesperson of the French Green Party in 1997.

He was an elected representative of the Green Party at the European Parliament from 1999-2009, serving two terms.

Alain Lipietz was an adviser to the Commission économique des Verts, a member of the Commission française du développement durable (from 2000) and a member of the Conseil d'établissement du Collège de France (since 2001).

On 21 June 2001, Alain Lipietz was elected candidate of the French Green Party for 2002 presidential elections. With 50% of the votes cast in the party's primaries, Lipietz narrowly beat rival candidate Noël Mamère.

However, a first controversy arose during summer 2001, when Alain Lipietz seemed to have appeared sympathetic to separatists jailed for planting bombs in Corsica. A second controversy was the issue of reopening the Mont Blanc Tunnel between France and Italy, which had been closed since 1999 after 39 people died in a fire. Meanwhile, the party dropped from seven to five percent support in opinion polls. Finally, on 14 October 2001, Les Verts managed to survive a major internal crisis and changed their Presidential candidate, dropping Alain Lipietz to choose Noël Mamère, who had supposedly made the irrevocable decision not to run a day sooner.

Court challenge to SNCF[edit]

In 2006 Alain and his sister sued the French government and SNCF, the national railway of France, for reparations for transporting members of their family to the Drancy deportation camp during World War II. The case was heard in the French Administrative Court, the body charged with trying cases against the French government and its agencies. The defendants argued at trial that they were at the time under orders of the German military; the railroad further argued that the German military threatened to shoot any railroad official who disobeyed their orders. The court disagreed, concluding that the Vichy government could not have avoided knowledge of the prisoners' likely deportation to concentration camps, and that SNCF made no effort to either protest the transportation or to transport them in a humane manner.[1] On June 6, 2006 the court ordered them to pay 61,000 (almost $80,000).

The French government accepted the decision, but in 2007 SNCF successfully appealed the decision regarding themselves. The appeal court found that SNCF was a separate entity to the government and thus outside the competence of the Administrative court.[2]

The Lipietz family are understood to be considering a further appeal to the State Council in respect of the claim against SNCF.[2]

French local politics[edit]

In 2014, Alain Lipietz ranked second in the EELV (Greens) candidate list for Villejuif (94) municipal election in the Paris southern suburbs, and as a candidate for President of the Agglomeration of Val de Bièvre (which comprises Arcueil, Cachan, Fresnes, Gentilly, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, L'Haÿ-les-Roses and Villejuif). Coming fifth, he and colleagues then engineered a coalition with right wing candidates and socialist dissidents, to attain a majority coalition. The national Green Party suspended the local EELV Villejuif candidates for this alliance with the right wing, which is against party policy. Alain Lipietz has become a councillor in the majority coalition and one of the vice-presidents[3] of the Agglomeration of Val de Bièvre. He remains suspended by the Greens.[4]

Main publications[edit]

He is the author of:

  • Green Hopes. The Future of Political Ecology (1993)
    (Vert-espérance. Le futur de l'écologie politique)
  • Berlin, Bagdad, Rio - XXIst Century Has begun (1992)
    (Bagdad, Rio: le XXIè siècle est commencé)

He also published books focusing on the French and Third World political economy:

  • Mirages and Miracles. Fortune and Misportunes of Global Fordism (1985)
    (Mirages et miracles. Problèmes de l'industrialisation dans le Tiers-Monde)
  • To Swim or to Sink. On Economic Policies of the Frend Left Governments (1984)
    (L'audace ou l'enlisement. Sur les politiques économiques de la gauche)

Other publications

  • The Wealth of Regions. Towards a Socio-economical Geography. Editor with G.Benko (2000)
  • What is Political Ecology ? The Great Transformation of XXIst century (1998)
  • Hour-glass Society. Job Sharing vs Social Exclusion (1996)
  • Phaedra : Identification of a Crime (1992)
  • The Winning Regions (edited with G. Benko, 1992)
  • Towards a New Economic Order. Post-Fordism, Ecology, Democracy (1989)
  • The crisis (with Clerc & Satre-Buisson, 1983)
  • The Enchanted World. Inflation, Credit and the Global Crises (1982)
  • Crisis and Inflation : Why ? (1979)
  • Capital and its Space (1977)
  • The Urban Land Tribute (1974)

He has also worked on many of the EC directives regarding the financial sector. (1990–2010)


  1. ^ "French railway must pay for transporting family to Nazis". CBC News. 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2006-06-09. 
  2. ^ a b "French railways win WWII appeal". BBC News. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links[edit]