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Europe’s Reluctant Radicals: France

On the 18th of April, Counterpoint will release a new pamphlet on populism and the Front National by the eminent French sociologist Michel Wieviorka.

Entitled Le Front National, entre extrémisme, populisme et démocratie, the publication is part of the second phase of our ‘Recapturing Europe’s Reluctant Radicals’ project, supported by the Open Society Foundations. This stage aims to depict the intimate political and social terrain from which populism emerges, and consists of a series of ten expert country pamphlets exploring populism across Europe.

Michel Wieviorka’s ’s piece will be released at a discussion panel entitled ‘Le Front National : un défi jeté aux forces démocratiques ?’ 

About the author: Michel Wieviorka is Director of the Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’ Homme.  He was Director of CADIS/EHESS from 1993 to 2009 and was co-Director of Cahiers Internationaux de Sociologie from 1991 to 2011.  He is the author of, amongst many other publications, Pour la prochaine gauche, Editions Robert Laffont, février 2011; Neuf de leçons de sociologie, Paris, Editions Robert Laffont, octobre 2008; Le printemps en politique–pour en finir avec le déclinisme, (dir.) avec Élie Barnavi, Alain Touraine, Elias Sanbar, Judit Bokser Liwerant, João Caraça, Isidro Cisneros, Nilüfer Göle, Pasquale Pasquino, Asaf Savas Akat, Simonetta Tabboni, Sergio Zermeño, Giovanna Zincone, Paris, Editions Robert Laffont, 2007; Le racisme–une introduction, Paris, La Découverte, 1998.

The event is organised in partnership with Sciences-Po/CEVIPOF,  and will be held on Thursday 18th of April, from 17:30 to 19:00 at 98 rue de l’Université, Paris. A reception will follow.

The panel includes:

Michel Wieviorka, Director of the Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’ Homme and author of Le Front National, entre extrémisme, populisme et démocratie (Counterpoint, 2013).

François Lamy, French Minister for Territorial Equality and Housing

Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint

Pascal Perrineau, Director of CEVIPOF

Click here to register.

In Le Front National, entre extrémisme, populisme et démocratie Michel Wieviorka argues that an effective opposition to the party must be based on precise and up-to-date knowledge, rather than solely on good intentions. He discusses the suitability of the different labels attached to the Front National over time -extremist, populist and nationalist- and investigates the new map of FN support:  no longer concentrated in ‘difficult’ cities or areas but rather coming from ‘peri-urban’ regions. The key question, Wieviorka asks, is whether this trend is likely to be reinforced in the near future.

Read an excerpt of Le Front National, in English, on Open Democracy


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