France

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    The transformation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: From radical outsider to populist leader

The transformation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: From radical outsider to populist leader

A late surge in support for the left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has added an extra layer of drama to France’s presidential election ahead of the first round of voting on 23 April. With Mélenchon now polling close enough to the leaders that he has a chance of making it to the second round, Marco Damiani traces his political career […]

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    A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

The French presidential campaign has been a rollercoaster of twists and turns so far. But with just a few days to go until the first round of voting on 23 April, does the contest have further surprises in store? Marta Lorimer outlines the possible scenarios and highlights the issues you should keep an eye out for.

A four horse race? Photo: The […]

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    The ‘grey zone’ of Vichy France: Understanding Marine Le Pen’s latest comments on the Second World War

The ‘grey zone’ of Vichy France: Understanding Marine Le Pen’s latest comments on the Second World War

The leader of the Front National, Marine Le Pen, has generated controversy by denying French responsibility for the persecution of Jews during the Second World War. Hugh Mcdonnell examines the ‘grey zone’ of French collaboration with the German occupation, writing that Le Pen’s comments contrast strikingly with previous efforts to ‘detoxify’ her party.

On 9 April, Marine Le Pen, the leader […]

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    The French presidential elections and the death of social dialogue

The French presidential elections and the death of social dialogue

What role do trade unions have to play in the French presidential election? As Nick Parsons writes, when François Hollande won the last presidential election in 2012, he promised to establish a ‘social dialogue’ under which actors such as trade unions would be consulted over government policy. But the failure of this strategy, underlined by the extensive protests held […]

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    Book Review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny by Ian Davidson

Book Review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny by Ian Davidson

In The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, Ian Davidson offers a new examination of the diverse factors that converged to spark and propel this crucial historical event. While the breadth of the book is occasionally overwhelming and characterised more by description than explanation, its rich detail highlights the intricacies of the French Revolution without centralising the role played by […]

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    Emmanuel Macron and the building of a new liberal-centrist movement

Emmanuel Macron and the building of a new liberal-centrist movement

One of the key stories of the French presidential election campaign so far has been the candidacy of Emmanuel Macron, who is currently challenging Marine Le Pen and François Fillon for a place in the second round. Susan Milner assesses his campaign, arguing that his chances of success will depend to a large extent on how wide he can keep […]

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    François Fillon’s nomination was the worst case scenario for Marine Le Pen

François Fillon’s nomination was the worst case scenario for Marine Le Pen

Should François Fillon face off against Marine Le Pen in the second round of the 2017 French presidential election, which candidate would have the edge? John Gaffney assesses the key policy differences between the two candidates, arguing that Fillon’s victory in the French centre-right’s primary was probably the worst possible outcome for Le Pen.

It has been the received view […]

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    Having won the French centre-right’s primary, does François Fillon have what it takes to beat Marine Le Pen?

Having won the French centre-right’s primary, does François Fillon have what it takes to beat Marine Le Pen?

François Fillon has been selected as the French centre-right’s candidate for the 2017 presidential election. But with the nomination secured, what challenges lie ahead? Marta Lorimer suggests that although Fillon’s programme proved popular with voters in the primary, he may need to broaden its appeal to have similar success in the presidential election itself.

On 27 November, the two-month race […]

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    Fillon vs Juppé: What policy differences are there between the French centre-right’s candidates?

Fillon vs Juppé: What policy differences are there between the French centre-right’s candidates?

In the first round of the primary to select the French centre-right’s candidate for the 2017 presidential election, François Fillon unexpectedly came out in first place, ahead of favourite Alain Juppé, and former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was subsequently eliminated. Françoise Boucek assesses the policy differences between Juppé and Fillon ahead of the second round due to be held […]

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    Hypermodern religiosity: How young Muslims embrace traditional Islam and why it has little to do with terrorism

Hypermodern religiosity: How young Muslims embrace traditional Islam and why it has little to do with terrorism

The wearing of the niqab and other items of clothing that cover the face has been the subject of intense debate in several European countries, notably France where legislation has been passed in the French parliament which prohibits the concealment of an individual’s face in public. Raphaël Liogier states that while western commentators often link the niqab to traditional […]

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    The ‘burkini’ ban illustrates the unequal cultural power that shapes the lives of Muslims in Europe

The ‘burkini’ ban illustrates the unequal cultural power that shapes the lives of Muslims in Europe

The banning of the ‘burkini’ by a number of French municipalities has generated heated discussion about the nature of secularism in France. George Kassimeris and Leonie Jackson write that the burkini ban, alongside attempts to restrict the use of religious symbols and clothing in other European countries, demonstrates the unequal cultural power that shapes the lives of Muslims in […]

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    With the centre-right ahead, is next year’s French presidential battle already over?

With the centre-right ahead, is next year’s French presidential battle already over?

France will hold presidential elections in 2017, which have taken on renewed significance in the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi present a comprehensive look at the state of play ahead of the elections. They write that with the Socialist Party in disarray, the presidential election is the centre-right’s to […]

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  • Permalink Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande at the presidential inauguration on 15 May 2012 at Élysée Palace. Credits: Cyclotron / WikimediaGallery

    The 2017 French presidential election: The race has started… and so far it has more candidates than voters

The 2017 French presidential election: The race has started… and so far it has more candidates than voters

On 23 April and 7 May 2017, French citizens will vote for President François Hollande’s successor. While in most cases the names of the official candidates are yet to be disclosed, several leading political figures have already announced their intention to run in the election. Marta Lorimer discusses the possible candidates and what recent polling says about their chances.

On […]

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    Book Review: Transnational Neofascism in France and Italy by Andrea Mammone

Book Review: Transnational Neofascism in France and Italy by Andrea Mammone

In Transnational Neofascism in France and Italy, Andrea Mammone details the establishment and evolution of transnational networks of the extreme right in France and Italy from 1945 to the present day. The book addresses a number of key topics, including decolonisation and the events of 1968, whilst also emphasising the importance of the exchange of ideas, personnel and strategies across […]

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    What the new French labour law tells us about France and the euro

What the new French labour law tells us about France and the euro

A new labour law, commonly referred to as the ‘El Khomri law’ after the French Minister of Labour, Myriam El Khomri, has generated significant attention in France over recent weeks. Bob Hancké assesses what the new law achieves, why it is here, and what it means for the country moving forward.

The recent furore in France over the new […]

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    French regional elections: Failure for the Front National, but little to celebrate for the mainstream

French regional elections: Failure for the Front National, but little to celebrate for the mainstream

France held the second round of its regional elections on 13 December. As Rainbow Murray writes, the key story to emerge from the election was the failure of the Front National to win in any of the French regions, following a strong showing in the first round of voting. She notes that while the second round will ultimately be […]

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    French politics after the Paris attacks: polarised and deeply personal

French politics after the Paris attacks: polarised and deeply personal

France will hold regional elections on 6 and 13 December, which are expected to be dominated by the response to the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November. John Gaffney writes that the split between left-wing and right-wing parties in the aftermath of the attacks has been much more profound than following the previous attacks in Paris in January. […]

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    Collective solidarity with France must transform into collective action against ISIS

Collective solidarity with France must transform into collective action against ISIS

The French government has stated that it will invoke the EU’s ‘mutual defence clause’ in relation to the Paris terrorist attacks, which indicates that when a state is attacked, all member states must show solidarity in addressing the aggression. Ranj Alaaldin writes on the potential military response France and its other western allies might pursue in Iraq and Syria […]

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    Political reactions to the Paris attacks: from national unity to politics as usual

Political reactions to the Paris attacks: from national unity to politics as usual

How will the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November affect domestic politics within France? Marta Lorimer assesses the reactions from the country’s main political parties. She writes that while the previous terrorist attacks in Paris in January resulted in a display of political unity, the united front following the November attacks has been much shorter lived. Although some […]

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    Paris attacks: Why France must avoid viewing its Muslim population as a security threat

Paris attacks: Why France must avoid viewing its Muslim population as a security threat

The terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November have prompted discussions from several commentators concerning levels of integration among France’s Muslim population. Joseph Downing argues that claims of a substantive link between the marginalisation of French Muslims and the terrorist attacks that have hit France in 2015 are deeply misleading. He writes that while several French citizens have been […]

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