A Strategic Compass Leading Where?

Axel Ruppert, RLS Brussels
The dangers of EU militarisation under French leadership***Version française ci-dessous*** In the shadow of Putin’s revanchist war in Ukraine and its multifold consequences for Europe’s security architecture, member states are developing the European Union’s first full-fledged military strategy. The “Strategic Compass” championed by French President Macron – whose government currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council – would substantially advance the militarisation of the European Union. Swept up by domestic political ...
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The state of local government in France***Version française ci-dessous*** 35,000 municipalities and more than 500,000 local elected representatives. 500 mayoral signatures of support required for each presidential hopeful. For outside observers, these vertiginous numbers may come as a surprise. A legacy of the French Revolution, this system has undergone many reforms over the years, with the creation of multiple political and administrative layers that are often criticised for their costliness, tangle of responsibilities and questionable ...
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France’s Culture War Election

Cole Stangler
***Version française ci-dessous*** Four months from the French presidential elections, journalist Cole Stangler untangles the messy knot of right, center, and left-wing campaigns. Who’s who among the presidential hopefuls, where are their campaigns heading, and why does a Left unity ticket currently appear so unlikely? You don’t have to be living in France to understand there’s a lot at stake in the upcoming presidential election: The global climate crisis is deepening, the country’s role on the international stage under question, its welfare model...
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Something Is Rotten in the State of France

Lucie Delaporte, Mediapart
Éric Zemmour, Candidate for President***Version française ci-dessous*** Whether or not he wins France's April 2022 presidential election, Éric Zemmour can already claim a major victory in having thrusted his half-baked racist views to the centre of national public debate. For his supporters, who constantly invoke Antonio Gramsci, this victorious cultural battle is undoubtedly a precursor to future electoral triumphs. Since French politics resumed after the summer break, far-right polemicist Éric Zemmour has electrified the country's ...
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The tender is for a service to coordinate our online series «A Season in Hell» of reports on French contemporary politics, organise a related event, and to author a report on how the political landscape with a focus on the left will develop in France after the election. More information on the project can be found here: About us The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung is an internationally operating, left non-profit organisation for civic education affiliated with Germany’s “Die ...
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***Version française ci-dessous*** After her setback in the regional elections, Marine Le Pen now finds herself rattled by the unexpected rise of far-right media polemicist Éric Zemmour. Between its desire to represent a break with the status quo on the one hand, and its aspirations to electability on the other, her National Rally party is going through an identity crisis coupled with a weakening influence. But should this phenomenon be viewed as progress in the fight against the far right, or as heralding the ...
read more "Could Marine Le Pen’s dominance of the French far right be under threat?"
***Version française ci-dessous*** A recent poll by the French Institute of Public Opinion shows the possibility of a Rassemblement National (RN) victory in the second round of the next presidential election. While the poll gives a lead of a few points to Xavier Bertrand or Emmanuel Macron in the second round against Marine Le Pen, [1] it indicates a victory for RN against Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot or Jean-Luc Mélenchon in that same round. The famous “glass ceiling” blocking the aspirations of the radical right-wing party ...
read more "The deceptive coherence of Marine Le Pen’s electoral base"

An open letter to the government

Jean-Pierre Maulny
The French army and the far right***Version française ci-dessous*** A recent open letter from former military leadership to the French government may not point to the risk of a military coup, but it does bear witness to the dangerous trivialisation of a political discourse based on “national security and communitarianism[1]”, which marginalises certain social groups by advocating national primacy and the rejection of immigration. Even though its rough edges have been smoothed out by Marine Le Pen, this discourse remains foundational to the far right ...
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Season In Hell Editor Ethan Earle gives his top 5 takeaways from yesterday’s regional elections in France
Elections municipales 2020 - 2nd tour
Elections municipales 2020 - 2nd tour

New Municipalism(s) – à la française

Vincent Béal, Nicolas Maisetti, Gilles Pinson and Max Rousseau
***Version française ci-dessous*** The 2020 French municipal elections saw an unprecedented proliferation of “citizens’ lists” composed of non-party affiliated “newcomers”. Less than two years after the Yellow Vests movement burst onto the political scene, this phenomenon should be understood as the result of a multifaceted crisis of local democracy. French municipalism may offer a way out of the crisis, but it faces many constraints. The French municipal elections of March and June 2020 were marked by the health crisis. In the midst of...
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