John Gaffney

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    Syria: How global leaders have made intervention all about themselves

Syria: How global leaders have made intervention all about themselves

Both France and the UK participated in strikes against suspected chemical weapons facilities in Syria. John Gaffney writes that in both countries the action was met with majority disapproval among the public. However, while French President Emmanuel Macron managed to spin the story into a positive one about his own leadership, Theresa May’s position in the UK has exposed her to greater criticism.

Credit: Garry […]

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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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    What does the UK’s election result mean for Europe? Four expert responses

What does the UK’s election result mean for Europe? Four expert responses

Simon Usherwood: “For an EU that’s really suffered in recent years, this is all another massive problem to have to deal with”
Kai Arzheimer: “Angela Merkel will not be thrilled by the news that David Cameron will continue as PM”
John Gaffney: “Opinion in France is generally as stunned by the unexpected result as opinion in the UK”
Paul Kennedy: “Spain’s conservative […]

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    Why Marion Maréchal-Le Pen has the potential to carry the Front National to power

Why Marion Maréchal-Le Pen has the potential to carry the Front National to power

Despite securing a large share of the vote in departmental elections in March, much of the recent coverage of the French Front National has focused on a dispute between the party’s leader, Marine Le Pen, and its founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen. John Gaffney writes on how the dispute has played out, noting that the real winner may be Jean-Marie’s […]

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    With both the French government and opposition in crisis, the door is open for Marine Le Pen to move firmly into the mainstream of French politics

With both the French government and opposition in crisis, the door is open for Marine Le Pen to move firmly into the mainstream of French politics

French President François Hollande has suffered from consistently low approval ratings and his Socialist Party received exceptionally disappointing results in both the country’s local and European elections earlier this year. As John Gaffney writes, however, the main opposition party, the UMP, has also been hit by a series of scandals, including the revelation that the party’s finances contain debts […]

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    The real threat posed by the far-right is not their role in the European Parliament, but their impact on domestic politics

The real threat posed by the far-right is not their role in the European Parliament, but their impact on domestic politics

Far-right parties such as the Front National in France and Golden Dawn in Greece were predicted to make large gains in the European Parliament elections. John Gaffney writes that while some of these parties did indeed increase their share of seats, this was far from uniform across Europe and the lack of cohesion among these groups will ensure they […]

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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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April 4th, 2014|John Gaffney|0 Comments|
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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 controversy over François Hollande’s alleged affair illustrates that politicians’ private lives are no longer off-limits in French politics

Last week, the magazine Closer published allegations that French President François Hollande had been involved in an affair with a French actress. John Gaffney writes that the fallout from the article highlights the changing attitudes toward the private lives of French Presidents. He notes that while rumours concerning previous French Presidents were largely inconsequential at the political level, the scandal […]

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François Hollande’s legitimacy crisis is a threat to the French republic

Like many countries in Europe, France is facing a serious economic and social crisis. As John Gaffney writes, the situation in France is compounded by the highly personalised French political system, which keeps the President of the Republic continually in the spotlight. He argues that François Hollande has failed to project a clear and effective public persona and that his […]

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François Hollande’s policy on Syria offers a perfect example of how not to conduct international politics

While the British parliament has effectively ruled out UK intervention in the Syrian conflict, French President François Hollande has been adamant that France will take part in any US-led military strikes against the country. John Gaffney writes that in contrast to the UK and the United States, who have sought parliamentary and congressional approval for their policy on Syria, Hollande […]

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Anti-Hollande sentiments have fuelled the popularity of France’s Manif pour Tous movement

In May, France signed gay marriage into law, a move that was met with mass protests from the right wing Manif pour Tous movement. How has this movement met with such success in a country that is predominantly tolerant in sexual matters? John Gaffney argues that the movement’s success has fed on the negative sentiment towards the French President, François […]

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Marine Le Pen’s recent detoxification of the Front National has been at the expense of the party’s intellectual traditions.

The French far right party, the Front National, has been a perennial part of French elections for nearly 40 years, first under Jean-Marie Le Pen, and more recently his daughter, Marine. As part of our continuing series on the French elections, John Gaffney charts the intellectual history of the party and argues that Marine Le Pen has shed much of […]

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