France

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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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  • Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande at the presidential inauguration on 15 May 2012 at Élysée Palace. Credits: Cyclotron / Wikimedia
    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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    The security threat posed by ‘outsiders’ is becoming a central theme of French politics in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo

The security threat posed by ‘outsiders’ is becoming a central theme of French politics in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo

How have minority communities in France been affected by the Paris terrorist attacks in January? Joseph Downing, Jennifer Jackson-Preece and Maria Werdine-Norris write that the response to the attacks has highlighted a long-term trend in French politics: the focus on issues of security and the perceived threat posed to the French nation by ‘outsiders’.

The Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris […]

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    Hollande is facing a difficult balancing act over the French policy on military action against IS

Hollande is facing a difficult balancing act over the French policy on military action against IS

France has participated in airstrikes against Islamic state forces in Iraq, but has so far stopped short of involvement in Syria. Rachel Utley writes on the competing motivations underpinning the French policy on the conflict. She notes that the threat of terrorism has been a key driver of French involvement, which was underlined by the murder of French hostage […]

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    The 2014 Israel-Palestine crisis has uncovered deep divisions within French society

The 2014 Israel-Palestine crisis has uncovered deep divisions within French society

The offensive launched by Israel in Gaza in July prompted a range of diverse responses from states across the world. Helen Drake writes on the reaction within France, which saw a number of domestic protests and disturbances related to the crisis. She notes that France is still digesting the consequences of its colonial past, its post-decolonisation present, and the […]

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    François Hollande will regret appointing new prime minister Manuel Valls to save the French government

François Hollande will regret appointing new prime minister Manuel Valls to save the French government

Following disappointing municipal election results, French president François Hollande appointed a new prime minister, Manuel Valls, who took office on 2 April. John Gaffney writes that while Valls is one of the few Socialist Party politicians left with broad popularity among the electorate, the appointment is unlikely to pay off for the president. He argues that even if Valls […]

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The shock of Sunday’s French municipal elections was the Socialist defeat, not Front National success

France held municipal elections on 23 and 30 March. As Jocelyn Evans and Gilles Ivaldi write, François Hollande’s governing Socialist Party (PS) endured a particularly disappointing result, losing many of the gains it had made in the 2008 elections. They argue that while much of the media coverage centred on the success of the Front National; the PS’s defeat, […]

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    Both Sarkozy and Hollande are victims of the French culture of scandal, but the real loser is democracy

Both Sarkozy and Hollande are victims of the French culture of scandal, but the real loser is democracy

The recent revelations surrounding former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy’s, recorded conversations have added to a long list of scandals involving France’s political leaders. John Gaffney writes that ‘plots and scandals’ have always been an integral part of French politics, but notes that the current accusations from the left and the right of the political spectrum simply serve to further […]

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    The Front National is tipped to ‘win’ this year’s elections in France, but it needs more than votes to claim a share of power

The Front National is tipped to ‘win’ this year’s elections in France, but it needs more than votes to claim a share of power

In addition to the European Parliament elections in May, France will hold municipal elections on 23 and 30 March. James Shields writes that, as with many French elections, the far-right Front National (FN) has attracted much media coverage and public attention in the lead-up. However, he argues that while the FN might significantly improve its share of votes and […]

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The response to the Dieudonné affair in France risks demonising French minority groups in the name of tolerance

The French comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala has caused controversy in France over the alleged anti-Semitism of his performances. Paul A. Silverstein writes on the wider issues related to anti-Semitism in French society, and why Dieudonné has proved so controversial. He argues that while Dieudonné’s supporters deny the accusations of anti-Semitism, they feed into a broader social and institutional context that […]

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Mainstream French parties have failed to form a coherent response to the wave of right-wing movements sweeping across France

France has seen the rise of a number of groups and associations protesting against the French government. Lise Herman writes that these movements are only loosely connected and have emerged in response to the government’s agenda on LGBT rights, education and family law. She argues that it has been difficult for the mainstream parties to establish a firm response given […]

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Elite British graduates are less interested in serving their country than their French counterparts

A comparative study conducted by Sally Power of Oxford and Sciences-Po graduates shows that while the British students were seeking self-fulfilment around the globe, their French counterparts were more interested in serving France. The contrasts are likely to reflect the different structures of opportunity for elite employment within the two countries. It is now widely accepted that globalisation has rendered […]

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François Hollande will require a more detailed and far-reaching economic strategy if he is to turn France’s ailing economy around

Like many countries across Europe, France has suffered economically since the beginning of the financial crisis. As Andy Langenkamp writes, French President François Hollande’s recent ‘responsibility pact’ outlined a number of reforms designed to restructure the economy, making it more competitive in the long-term. He argues that while Hollande has the political resources required to implement bold reforms, his current […]

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