An overview of academia in France is available from the European University Institute: Academic Careers Observatory (ACO). The ACO facilitates the flow of knowledge among researchers about national academic careers and research opportunities in the social sciences and humanities, throughout Europe and beyond. The pages on French higher education and academic career progression are informative.
Vacancies for researchers throughout Europe, along with individual country portals and practical information is available through the researcher's portal of EURAXESS. This is written in English and easily searchable by country, discipline, and level of experience.
Competitions for the academic positions are advertised in two official state publications:
French higher education is a very centralised system, with obstacles to entry and advancement, and a very high level of jobs security. There are some openings for non-nationals, as academic staff are the only civil servants who do not have to hold French nationality. The careers in French academia for nationals and non-nationals are slowly converging. Recruitment is monitored and controlled by commissions selected at the national and individual university levels. However, recruitment into entry positions is still influenced by informal agreements and contacts between candidates and academics.
Selection processes examples
Recent experiences of selection for social and political science disciplines in France, Austria, and the UK can be found on the ACO site.