French Politics

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Marginal Effects (95% Confidence Intervals) Predicting Protest Participation. Note Full models are report in Appendix Tables 6 and 7. Because these are odds ratios from logistic regression, the line at 1.00 represents no relationship between the variables
Many contemporary protests highlight global issues. These protests emerge as a method to influence global politics in the absence of formal structures for citizens to voice their concerns to global political leaders. Prior research establishes that political efficacy, political discussion, and political interest are important predictors of protest participation, but this body of research has not addressed the global dimensions of these variables. Using survey data from 2019 in four countries (USA, UK, France, and Canada), we examine the extent to which perceived influence on international leaders, political discussion of global affairs, and interest in global issues influence protest participation, accounting for the traditional framing of these variables in terms of national politics. We find that all variables correlate with protest participation. We also find that civic uses of Facebook increase the likelihood of protesting. Furthermore, the correlations of these variables with protest participation are consistent across the four countries. In sum, we offer a robust model predicting protest participation considering contemporary global dynamics.
The COVID-19 pandemic was, and continues to be, extraordinary in many ways, forcing governments around the world to implement equally extraordinary preventive measures, some of which were highly restrictive. However, such preventive measures were not sufficient per se to contain the spread of the virus through non-pharmaceutical (e.g., stay-at-home orders, recommendations about face-mask usage) or even pharmaceutical (i.e., a vaccine) interventions: to be effective, citizens had to comply with the guidelines implemented by the state. Social scientists, in particular behavioralists, have thus been playing a prominent role in the management of the pandemic. How have the governments around the world generated compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures? In this article, I first review who was more prompted to comply with preventive measures. I then move to presenting the commonly used explanations to make sense of levels of compliance. These explanations revolve around human predispositions, (political) attitudes, partisanship, ideology, cues, and institutional factors. I conclude by highlighting the role of social sciences in providing the best data and analyses on the relationship between citizens and the state in times of crisis, for the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Nevers, a medium-sized city of 33,000 inhabitants in the centre of France, has long been regarded as a laboratory for municipal socialism as well as for the union of the left. The socialist party has dominated the local political scene for more than four decades. In 2014, however, a list without any party label put an end to this hegemony by winning the election. The 2020 municipal election confirmed the changeover: the outgoing list won the election, this time in the first round. How to explain this lasting change in a city that has long been a socialist city, in favour of an "apolitical" list that does not benefit from partisan resources? If this change is part of a more general movement, characterized by the decline of the “Parti socialiste” (PS) and the “Parti communiste Français” (PCF), we will show that it is also rooted in the socio-demographic transformations that the city has undergone in recent decades. Such as many medium-sized French cities, Nevers is indeed confronted with a long-standing phenomenon of urban decline, particularly marked in the central districts. The departure of managers and middle-level professions and the arrival of precarious populations has contributed to the transformation of the electorate, while the theme of decline has become one of the main issues of the last elections. This article thus proposes to examine the evolution of the local political field in the light of the social, economic, and demographic transformations of the territory. To do so, several databases are used in order to quantify and map these transformations: the results of municipal elections since 1971 and census data at municipal level since 1968 and at the neighbourhood level (Iris) since 1990. These data will be put into perspective with archives relating to municipal elections from 1971 to 2020 as well as interviews and observations conducted during the 2014 and 2020 campaigns. In conclusion, the urban decline, in the case of Nevers, has contributed to bring down municipal socialism in two ways: (1) by weakening its electoral base, (2) by imposing a political agenda that the socialist municipal team cannot keep, which will be blamed on them in 2014.
In recent years, both inside and outside France, scholars and policymakers have emphasized a small and declining French influence on European politics and the political direction of the European Union (EU). By contrast, in 2022, at the end of President Emmanuel Macron’s first term in office, the EU increasingly follows French preferences and ideas. We argue that this renewed French clout is due to the interplay of factors located at different levels of government: a centralized political system and careful preparation of policy objectives at the domestic level, together with a more balanced bilateral relationship with Germany and several exogenous shocks hitting the EU, enabled the French President to upload national policy priorities to the European level. We combine a longer-term perspective, which considers the formulation and pursuit of national strategies, with moments of crisis altering the EU’s status quo and leading member states to promote change. We demonstrate France’s influence on EU politics based on developments in three policy fields, namely fiscal policy, competition policy, and defense industrial policy.
The debate on the existence and relevance of a rural–urban divide in France has been revived in recent years. This article reviews studies showing France as a peculiar case of strong geographical divides in political behaviour, such as support for the EU or vote for the radical right. Various explanations of this divide have been advanced by French scholars to account for differences between urban, peri-urban and rural dwellers. Some of them stress the local specificities of the socio-economic composition of the territory and are reluctant to consider the rural–urban divide as a determinant of political behaviour in itself. Others stress the systematic gap between urbans and inhabitants from other territories and propose these gaps as valuable reasons for differences in political behaviour. We review several sets of explanations of this divide centered on social class, economic or cultural insecurity. We then connect the French literature with the international one and thereby identify several blind spots and areas on which scholars in France and in comparative studies could focus on in the future.
Application of LDA to a Corpus (Maier et al. 2018:94)
Number of topics (K): Emmanuel Macron
Number of topic (K): Marine Le Pen
Emmanuel Macron topics
Marine Le Pen topics
This article seeks to examine how the issue of terrorism has been framed by Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Marine Le Pen has been eager to exploit these incidents since they fit neatly within her xenophobic and nationalist discourse. On the other hand, Emmanuel Macron seeks to transcend traditional political boundaries and foster unity. These different strategies in framing terrorism will be the focus of this article. In addition, the article will examine whether there are elements of populist contagion in Macron’s framing. The analysis is centred around two terrorist events that occurred in 2020: (1) Samuel Paty’s murder and (2) the Nice knife attack. The data were collected from the Twitter accounts of Le Pen and Macron and analysed via the latent Dirichlet allocation generative statistical model. The result is an in-depth analysis that showcases the different framing strategies of the two case studies regarding terrorism.
Slovakia (beforehand Czechoslovakia) and Poland have had historically outstanding relations with France, mainly in the interwar period. The relations deteriorated and had suffered from political supervision of Kremlin due to the communist regimes loyal to Moscow established after the WW2. A visible renaissance of both dyads can be observed in 90s as soon as democratic institutions were established in Slovakia and Poland. Moreover, another turning point came in 2008, when France has developed closer strategic partnerships with countries in the Central and Eastern Europe. The historical bonds it shared with Slovakia and Poland, the establishment of formal partnerships brought a significant new impetus in a range of areas of bilateral cooperation. In this paper, we attempt to compare two dyads that share the same partner and formal connection—action plans of partnership with France. We use comparison of contrasts since Poland and Slovakia differ in size, economic output and geopolitical ambitions. The former is considered a middle power, the latter a small state. Both share a similar topics of cooperation with France based on the action plans’ framework. We compared these plans with foreign policy strategic documents. For Slovakia, the action plans represent a unique opportunity to have a closer tie with one of European powers. As expected, we concluded that Poland nurtures a more balanced and ambitious partnership. Warsaw apparently uses its political and economic power to pursue geopolitical goals even above the EU level and teams with France even though action plans do not address the strategic issues in detail.
Predictive margins of implicit and explicit bias on support of RPP
This paper examines the link between implicit racial bias and right-wing populism. Using data from 41,803 participants, I explore whether implicit racial bias predicts the support of right-wing populist parties (RPP) in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The results reveal a significant association between implicit racial bias and support of RPP, even when controlling for explicit bias. Additional analyses show that the effect of implicit racial bias is especially high for participants with high levels of explicit racial bias. Participants with negative explicit racial bias are thus especially likely to support RPP if they also have high levels of negative implicit racial bias. The study also finds a significant effect for participants with no explicit racial bias, although the effect is markedly smaller.
Mean points—Axes 3 (X-axis) and 2 (Y-axis) Yellow Vests versus non-Yellow Vests
Yellow Vests and non-Yellow Vests in the factor space—Axis 1 multiculturalists versus ethno-nationalists (X-axis) and Axis 2 anti-system versus status quo (Y-axis)
Mean points—Axes 3 (X-axis) and 2 (Y-axis) Roundabout Yellow Vests versus Demos only. (Color figure online)
Mean points—Axes 1 (X-axis) and 2 (Y-axis) Roundabout Yellow Vests versus Demos only. (Color figure online)
This paper stems from the first sampled and representative survey carried out on the Yellow Vests movement in the French region of Occitania. While scientific literature mainly explores the drivers of internal—social and ideological—cohesion in social movements, our study sheds light on the internal diversity of the Yellow Vests' mobilisation. Our findings reveal the unprecedented scale of the movement in relation to the French population. They confirm and document its social and political heterogeneity. We confirm that the working and lower middle classes are over-represented in the movement. But our study also highlights the diversity of the coalition formed by the Yellow Vests who are, in fact, fairly representative of the French working and middle classes in all their diversity, including the upper-middle class. Only the upper classes are not part of the movement. In part two, we explore the cleavages that unite the Yellow Vests as well as those that divide them. While they are cohesive on economic issues and their strong rejection of political elites, the Yellow Vests are highly divided on identity and cultural issues. The results allow us to shed light on the forms and dynamics of the movement. Indeed, the variety of ideological and social profiles, as well as grievances, is reflected in the partially differentiated spatial distribution of the participants across the various protest sites. Our analysis also offers keys to understanding the process by which demands were generated and framed, the reasons for the mistrust shown towards would-be spokespeople and the difficulty in translating the movement into the political and electoral arena. Our study underlines the processual nature of any social movement and prompts us not to overestimate the unity, uniformity, and similarity of its participants, since many Yellow Vests probably rallied not so much together as alongside each other.
The French Yellow Vest (YV) movement was born out of the opposition to an increase in carbon taxation. It has therefore been conventionally depicted as an anti-environmental protest. This article challenges this view, based on a review of scholarship on YVs and on the environmental values, actions and mobilizations of underprivileged citizens. We start with an overview of the studies available on the YVs’ characteristics and their relationship to ecology and draw on different large-N data to show that YVs are on average similar to the French general population, with low levels of environmental concerns, a distance from “institutional environmentalism”. The coexistence of an ecological block and an anti-ecological block within the movement is not peculiar to YVs. We recall how carbon taxes generate right-wing contestation resisting taxation in general, but also opposition from left-wing activists concerned with social justice and/or the climate crisis. Local interactions with environmentalist mobilizations result in spatial variations and changes over time in YVs’ environmental attitudes. Finally, we emphasize the varieties of environmentalism among dominated social groups. The conclusion derives lessons on the drivers of contestation of climate policy and draws avenues for further research.
This first special issue on the Yellow Vests movement (YVM) published in English has three objectives. First, we advocate that this puzzling movement proved to be an insightful research field for scholars to make a plea for mixed methods. By so doing, we bridge the usual gaps between positivist and constructivist approaches. Second, after four years of research, this publication is also a first milestone to provide empirical data and analysis of the movement, to better understand its evolution, significance and effects on French society. By combining case studies and national-based comparison, regional face-to-face surveys, national online surveys and in-person surveys, the nine articles provide a clearer and more precise picture of the movement’s composition and its evolution over the months. In addition to a detailed description of the social and political components of the movement, several articles propose to establish bridges between the values and opinions of the Gilets Jaunes or Yellow Vests, the cultural practices of the social groups from which they come, and the modalities of mobilization and form of politicization, inscribed in space and in time. In this way, they provide the debate with valuable keys to understanding the dynamics of the movement. Third, this special issue consequently further analyses how the YVM challenges contemporary social movements studies, the understanding of uprisings and assumptions about contentious politics. The first article introduces the major analytical issues and mixed-method approaches of the 9 articles and their contributions as whole to scholarship on the study of the YVM and social movements in France and from a comparative perspective.
Hierarchical Clustering Dendrogram
Lexical space of Yellow Vest grievances, Axes 1 and 2 of the factorial analysis
The Yellow Vests movement has been a puzzle for social movement researchers, in that it seemed to be marked by a profound contradiction: a powerful and sustainable mass movement and the absence of what are usually considered to be the essential ingredients of a social movement. We argue that family is a key element in the Yellow Vest mobilization. This element, which has gone largely unnoticed, allows us to understand the reasons for popular anger, the way in which public policy measures can undermine solidarity mechanisms specific to the working and lower middle classes, and finally the ways in which the movement was organized. Beyond the case of the Yellow Vests, the role of family in social movements remains relatively under-studied and poses a challenge to the dominant approach to these research objects (Contentious Politics). Taking the family underpinning of mobilizations into account, helps bridging the gap between cultural practices and strategic action in social movement research.
For about fifteen years now, so-called leaderless movements, often stemming from appeals via social networks and having recourse to lasting or episodic occupations of public spaces have flourished. This has had the effect of calling into question the usual toolkit used by social movement scholars to study them. More precisely, it is a question of which levels, dimensions and units of analysis are relevant, especially when it comes to describe movements’ social base and worldviews. In this paper, based on a localized and a long-term collective undertaking, begun from the very beginning of the Yellow Vests movement in November 2018, we discuss those shortcomings and suggest avenues for analysis. We rely on three sets of data in a concomitant manner: life history calendars, social media data (mainly Facebook) and field research (participant observation and biographical interviews). By considering time and place as key variables, we offer an innovative way to describe how the YVs movement has been constructed in a constant flux of change.
Yellow vests gatherings spread across France in late November 2018, and arose mostly in peripheral France, where social movements are not used to appear. This movement have been already studied through its spatial dimension, but without sources and methods being always unequivocal and deconstructed. In this context, our proposal aims to getting things straight among all the available sources and data which document the spatial dimension of the YV movement during the first months of the contestation. Through a monograph in Normandy, maps and a geostatistical study of YV gatherings at a national scale, we first highlight the disseminated, simultaneous but temporary YV appropriations of different strategic spaces in the margins of small towns, before massive and repeated central gatherings, which underlines the politicization of the movement. Then we explore the “Jaune vif” database, which is very relevant since it is the only source that documents both the gathering and the daily life spaces of protestors, essentially peri-urban or rural dwellers and inhabitants of small towns in the beginning, whose lifestyles and daily life spaces, often marginalized or depreciated, have been there brought to the forefront of politics. Even if some of them carried on mobilizing far from their home, the centralization of the movement appears to be coupled with a centralization of the protestors, who were gradually more metropolitan and used to social movements, structuring the movement at a broader scale.
This article follows on from various studies that analyze the internal sociological heterogeneity of social movements and the power relations resulting from it. It focuses on the activist careers of three female activists in the French Yellow Vest movement and shows that the loose, decentralized structure of this movement allows for the emergence of spaces where it is possible, locally and temporarily, to subvert power relations. The demonstration is processual and chronological. We start by analyzing how the social and political background of the three women informed the way they entered the movement and seek what they regard as their rightful place, whether as organizer or as grassroots activist. We then show how the mix of such backgrounds and their first steps in the movements led them to negotiate, stay, or escape from the mobilization sites they frequented.
Do trade unions and political parties have their place in the movement? by a self-positioning on the left–right axis, Data: YVs in Bordeaux (N = 149)
How the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) faced the electoral dilemma? Despite their rejection of political institutions, the French municipal elections of 2020 led some of the participants to embrace conventional politics. Under which circumstances can a social movement lead to political participation and eventually obtain electoral success? Relying on quantitative and qualitative data, this article provides an explanation of the electoral participation of social movement activists and the different outcomes of local elections in Bordeaux, one of the major sites of Yellow Vests’ mobilization in 2018–2019. The article contends that far from allowing marginalized groups to enter the political arena, these elections seem to confirm the “iron law of oligarchy”. Two lists of candidates both claiming to be part of the Yellow Vests movement competed with each other. While “Bordeaux Democracy” rejected partisan support failed to stand, “Bordeaux in Struggle” could rely on organizational support and was able to maintain itself and achieved unexpected electoral success with three local councillors.
The French Yellow Vests movement offers a case study for examining the logics and effects of the avoidance of institutional politics. The movement brought together seasoned activists and a large share of first-time protesters, i.e. social actors with no prior experience in collective action or party politics. Drawing on in-depth ethnographic biographical interviews conducted with the latter, we argue that, paradoxically enough, avoiding politics was a condition of possibility for their entry and continuation in the mobilisation. Moreover, they became political insofar as they acquired a sense of entitlement to speak out publicly as citizens, and a new appetence for current affairs. Even though first-timers’ interest in politics and their forms of knowledge remained very unequal, we urge to study the avoidance of institutional politics as political tactics that might, under certain circumstances, foster politicisation among the most disenfranchised groups.
Photograph by LeGall/handi social
This article investigates a core practice of the Yellow Vest movement (YVM), born in the fall of 2018 in France: its publicizing through social media. While other mobilized groups organized events that conformed to routine media framing, the Yellow Vests (YVs) did not seek to adhere to journalistic representations and expectations. In fact, the general coverage did not match their own experiences of the YVM, which gave rise to a direct hostility toward the media. In contrast, the efforts of some individuals to provide an alternative public image of the demonstrations on social media became popular within the movement, especially the productions of videographers emanating from (or sympathizers of) the YVs. We focus here specifically on this latter group, examining their uses of social media, their social trajectories, and characteristics (i.e., previous politicization, professional skills, and experiences of repression and police violence). While the text merely exhibits excerpts from semi-structured interviews with videographers (n = 11), our findings are based on a larger qualitative research consisting of observations of marches throughout the movement (from late November 2018 to early December 2019), interviews with journalists and photographers (n = 24), and the analysis of their videos disseminated on social media (n = 224 videos). We argue that these videographers, though diverse in terms of their social backgrounds and concerns, generally all occupied devalued social positions while also possessing a necessary cultural capital (broadly intended) and a degree of politicization that fueled their self-confidence and ability to raise their voices. The aims of their heterogeneous forms of expression evolved over time, gradually coalescing around the issue of protecting people by tracking and denouncing police violence.
Support for democratic innovations among the French population and the Yellow Vests. Note: Entries display the percentage of respondents selecting (or not) a democratic reform among the French population (left panel—results weighted by sex, age and education) and among the YV movement (right panel)
Effect of commitment to the YV on support for democratic innovations among the French population and the Yellow Vests. Note: Entries are predicted probabilities (odds ratio) from two sets of six binary logistic regressions estimating variations in support for democratic preferences between YV supporters and non-supporters among the French (left panel), as well as between active and supportive YV within the movement (right panel), with 95 percent confidence intervals. Models adjust for sociodemographics and political characteristics
Effect of populist attitudes and voting on support for democratic innovations among the French population and the Yellow Vests. Note: Entries are predicted probabilities (odds ratio) from two sets of six binary logistic regressions estimating the impact of populist attitudes and voting in support for democratic preferences among the French (left panel) and within the YV movement (right panel), with 95 percent confidence intervals. Models adjust for sociodemographics and political characteristics
Cuts in the dendrogram tree and most specific terms of the three-classes clustering (top panel) and two-dimensional representation of the correspondence analysis (bottom panel)
By means of an original mixed-method research design, this article analyzes the French Yellow Vests’ attitudes to democracy and democratic innovations. First, we find that Yellow Vests’ protesters are supportive of innovations aiming at controlling elected representatives, and that populist attitudes enhance support for direct public control. Second, we provide evidence of two different discourses about democracy coexisting within the movement: one, stemming from inexperienced first-time activists, is centered on the control of political elites; the other, coming from more politicized Yellow Vests, rather advocates for direct citizen participation. This article therefore contributes to bridging the literatures on democratic issues in social movement, process preferences, and populism. In particular, we highlight that within ‘populist’ social movements, various democratic aspirations may cohabit, depending on how protesters define ‘the people’ and their experience of political protest.
Log-odds of voting in the 2020 municipal elections (first round).Note: Point estimates show the log-odds of the models summarized in Table 4, with 95% confidence intervals. Baseline categories are being male, aged 45–59, with a high school education, on permanent employment, with some interest in politics, consuming local and national media once a week and never or rarely engaging in political discussions online.
Source: PELMEL survey, 2020
Log-odds of voting in the 2020 municipal elections (second round). Note: Point estimates show the log-odds of the models summarized in Table 4, with 95% confidence intervals. Baseline categories are being male, aged 45–59, with a high school education, on permanent employment, with some interest in politics, consuming local and national media once a week, never or rarely having political discussions online and neither trusting or distrusting the WHO, the French Health Council and Olivier Véran.
Source: PELMEL survey, 2020
Log-odds of voting in the 2017 presidential elections (first round and second round). Note: Point estimates show the log-odds of the models summarized in Table 5, with 95% confidence intervals. Baseline categories are being male, aged 45–59, with a high school education, on permanent employment, with some interest in politics and consuming newspapers and political broadcast sometimes to follow the electoral campaign.
Source: French Election Study 2017, n = 1816; data provided by the CDSP
The effects on political participation of the consumption of political information from traditional and digital media are widely addressed in the literature. However, what happens in times of pandemic when people have other pressing concerns that are likely to receive significant media coverage? Does the consumption of political information—which increases in times of pandemic—mobilize or rather demobilize voters in local elections? By focusing on the two rounds of the French municipal elections in March and June 2020, we explore how the pandemic affected turnout through the consumption of political information distributed by official news media and users on social media during the first peak of the crisis (March 2020) and during the first period of decline in contagion rates (June 2020). Our results show that the association between consumption of political information and participation is detectable but remains less relevant than traditional predictors of turnout such as socio-demographic variables or an interest in politics. Moreover, we show that the strength of the effect of consumption of political information varies according to both the type of election and the type of political information consumption (local or national news, online or offline). Overall, it seems that the pandemic context had little effect on the relations between political information consumption and electoral participation.
Locations where the candidate's election programme was presented (Poland N = 241, France N = 254).
Source: Own work
This article is the result of a research study aimed at comparing the degree of maturity of political communication in local government elections between France and Poland. The authors’ objective is to reveal the specificity of the subsystems of electoral communication between these countries mainly by presenting the diversity of the communication tools used and the degree of professionalisation of communication management by local government politicians. The undertaking of a comparative analysis of these two countries was dictated by the countries’ similarities in terms of the three-tier division of local government. In addition, it compares the experience of France’s mature democracy and Poland’s democracy, which is in its early stages. A survey conducted on a representative sample could be extrapolated from the entire population studied in France and Poland. The scope of the study concerned local government elections from 2015 in France, and 2014 and 2018 in Poland. The article presents conclusions of the research that focus on the manner and scope of application of political communication in the selected countries.
Thematic network map of #SansMoi7Mai
Advanced democracies increasingly face three interrelated challenges: new media technologies, increased political distrust and decreasing voter participation. During the 2017 French presidential election, all three were enmeshment while France witnessed its highest voter abstention rate since 1969. The Twitter hashtag #SansMoile7Mai (#WithoutMeMay7) emerged in the social media debate about abstention between the two rounds of the election, offering new insights into self-expression of abstention. Posing the research question “What discourses about voter abstention coalesce around the hashtag #SansMoile7Mai on social media during the 2017 French presidential election?”, this paper seeks to use the aforementioned case study to understand public discourse about voter abstention in the new digital era. By applying a multi-methods approach (social network analysis, thematic analysis and critical discourse analysis) to texts from #SansMoile7May, the results demonstrate that discourses around abstention conveyed significant distrust in contemporary French democracy and raised allegations of voter manipulation, expressing opposition to incoming president Emmanuel Macron as a product of an oligarchical system while—surprisingly—showing little opposition to the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. These findings suggest that public discourse about the trust in French democracy in certain populations is problematic, where self-expression on social media about abstention was an “active” form of protest against a system seen as corrupt and manipulated. This raises important questions about the new intersections between social media protest, discourses about voting and the durability of contemporary democratic systems.
Books by Elgie
In this short article, we present the contribution of Elgie on the theme of the politics of Central Banking. We begin by presenting some bibliometrics, and then we study the Central Bank Independence index constructed by Elgie (in coll.) and his analysis of the accountability of Central Banks (particularly the Banks of England and France). Elgie is also interested in the democratic deficit of the European Central Bank and studies the application of the principal-agent theory to this question.
This article reflects on the working life, and disciplinary contribution to the study of French and comparative politics, of the late lamented Professor Robert Elgie.
In many countries, there has been an increasing move to rely on the market to decide how state-owned land is currently used and how it will be used in future. In the last few decades, hectares of urban land and forest, as well as military sites, courts, hospitals, university buildings and public housing have been sold, mostly to the private sector. This article draws on a review of the available literature to develop a sociological perspective on the commodification of state property. Based on the French case, it highlights the contested character of state-owned land commodification, as different institutionalized rationales conflict with the market logic. It combines political sociology and economic sociology perspectives to address three questions: Why does land privatization matter? Is the commodification of state-owned land just another neoliberal reform? Does commodification submit the French state to market forces?
I argue that Robert Elgie's late political leadership duology makes a remarkable contribution to the debate on political science methodology and the philosophy of social science. It demonstrates that a wide range of methodologies are consistent with scientific realism can speak to the same research question. I draw out implications for the methodology and organisation of political science.
France and Poland have had dynamic security relations for over 100 years. Initially, the bonding element was the sense of threat posed by Germany. Therefore, in the interwar period, France and Poland were bound by the allied treaty of 1921. However, both countries lost their independence during WWII, and the alliance was not renewed after the war. During the Cold War division, convergence and divergence of security interests were evident. After the breakthrough of 1989, Poland joined NATO and the EU and, together with France, found itself in the Western security community. At that time, France represents a Eurocentric vision of security with elements of mondialisme, and Poland prefers an Atlantic option. These convergences and differences in understanding their own security interests mean that relations between France and Poland are meandering, changeable and even complicated, which can be seen in their changing dynamics throughout the post-Cold War period.
Trade and economic relations between Iran and France have improved more than political relations between the two countries since 1979. After the fluctuations of the 1980s, the French presence in the Iranian car industry as well as energy and oil sectors during the normalization of relations between the two countries in the 1990s made Tehran and Paris more interested in economic cooperation. However, this cooperation reflected sinusoidal movements in the 2000s and 2010s parallel with the ebbs and flows of international concern over Iran’s nuclear program. In this article, we examine economic relations between France and Iran from the Iranian revolution in 1979 until the end of 2020 and identify the domestic, bilateral, and international ups and downs influencing these relations.
In the last 40 years or so, scholars have proposed a vast array of models and approaches to predict election outcomes in a variety of democracies. Election forecasting has garnered increasing attention and has been the subject of multiple symposia and special issues in political science journals. This article reviews the forecasting efforts that have been deployed in the case of France since pioneering work in the late 1970s and early 1980s and discusses the peculiarities of the French political system and their consequences as well as the challenges they create for election forecasting.
This article critically assesses how North American and European sociological literature explains migrant, ethnic and racial (MER) minorities’ electoral participation (registration on electoral lists and voting). It highlights three main controversies around this issue. First, it looks at how models that track the electoral participation of MER minorities by focusing on socio-economic resources have been increasingly challenged by models that take into account migration and generational factors. Second, it looks at how different models debate the collective dynamics of minority groups within host countries and insist on the importance of factors such as group consciousness, the role of minority-based organisations, and the minority candidate and neighbourhood effects in determining electoral participation. Third, it deals with variations in the gaps between MER minority and national majority turnout at elections across countries and the macro-structural and institutional factors that may account for these variations. Future research would greatly benefit from comparative and intersectional perspectives and from using the analytical tools of political socialisation to investigate more in depth the role of individual trajectories and of political and social context.
Number of pledges included in the programme of the winners of presidential elections (1995–2012) (data: PartiPol)
Number of pledges of left-wing candidates in 2017 (Data:, last consulted on July 8, 2018)
Number of polls per presidential campaign (data: polling commission)
Moving from the "What" (the content of programmes) to the "Why's" (the objectives provided), this article shows how French political parties use election manifestos. We put forward three complementary hypotheses. First, we contend that uses of manifestos have diversified over time. Second, these uses vary in intensity from period to period. Third, both temporal variations are expected to reflect the changing rules of the political field. Overall, we show that considering the multiple transactions involved in the making of manifestos as an open question makes it possible to better account for how their content has evolved over time.
The manuscript explores whether and how the strategic context of elections and candidate attributes affect campaign sentiment. Studying five decades of French presidential elections, it provides the first longitudinal test of campaign tone outside the USA. Thereby, the paper examines concerns of an increase in negativity due to changes in electoral competition. It takes leverage from the electoral system, to study whether the strategic environment of elections (first vs. second rounds of elections) or candidate characteristics (ideology and outsider status) determine the use of positive and negative tone. To this end, the paper applies sentiment analysis to personal manifestos ( professions de foi) issued by all candidates running in presidential elections (1965–2017) and validates the French Lexicoder Sentiment Dictionary for longitudinal studies of campaign tone. Results reject worries about an increase in negativity in French elections over time. Moreover, while context matters to some extent, candidate attributes are by far more important for explaining campaign sentiment in presidential races. The findings contribute to research on the role of sentiment in electoral competition and tackle broader issues related to the impact of positive and negative political communication for elections and democracies.
Conceptual categorization of legislators’ usages of the e-participation platform
The article intends to advance the study of e-participation in renewed directions by focusing on a category of actors that has long been overlooked: elected politicians. It zeroes in on legislators who while key actors of representative democracy chose to be involved in an e-participation initiative. This article generates theoretical propositions on how they make use of e-participation platforms in their work as parliamentarians. Based on a qualitative analysis of interviews about the main e-participation platform in France, Parlement & Citoyens, the article shows that parliamentarians’ usages of such participatory tools tend either toward a policy-oriented logic or a vote-seeking purpose. These usages can also be categorized as tending toward either a representative or a participatory democracy logic. The article concludes that if platforms are originally designed as online participatory alternatives to conventional legislative processes, they are chiefly used as adjuvants to traditional political representation practices.
Percentage of ministers aged 35 and below over time
Percentage of ministers aged 40 and below over time
In this research note, we focus on young adults, a group with distinct claims for political representation but a low representation in political office. Focusing on the cabinet, we analyze the marginalization of young politicians in France, Germany, and the UK using time series data. We find that adults aged 35 and below at the time of nomination have made up a mere 1% of the cabinet posts in these countries over the past 40 years. For the age group of adults aged 40 years and below, the percentage of young ministers has reached 7%. We further display that young women are even more of an anomaly than young men. More explanatory, we identify youths’ lack of electoral- and party capital as major impediments for young politicians gaining a seat in the cabinet. Finally, we investigate the type of portfolios held by the ministers in our sample and find that young ministers are much more likely than older ones to be designated to portfolios with less prestige.
The system of political representation for French residents abroad
Internet voting has been available for French citizens living abroad since 2006, and 43.21% of them filled out their ballots online for the first election of their consular delegates in 2014. Using a multivariate analysis of turnout figures at the district and country levels, this research note explores if ballot box and Internet voters differ in their electoral participation patterns. It concludes that turnout must be understood based on the voting modality that French voters choose. While the characteristics of the electoral district (community size, geographical, and historical proximity with France, and party competition) impact ballot box voter turnout, Internet voter turnout is most influenced by the host country’s economic and infrastructure development.
It has long been recognized that changes in public policy governance have an impact on how state and civil society actors interact. The effects that such changes in governance have on contentious politics, however, are not as well understood. Looking at university reforms undertaken in France between 2005 and 2016, following the Bologna process, we show that the organization of student political representation, both within universities and at the national level, strongly influences the type of actors that mobilize, as well as the tactics, claims, and strategies that inform contentious politics. France’s postsecondary education system has experienced substantial changes following successive reforms passed in 2002, 2007, and 2013. These have led to major changes in the configuration of university governance, including a decentralization of power from the central state to local universities, accompanied by the centralization of power in the hands of new administrative bodies, particularly university presidents. We argue that these changes have not only had direct effects on student representation within university and state bodies but have also shaped student movements and the organization of protest. More precisely, they have limited student organizations’ ability to defend the interests of their members at the national level and have contributed to making autonomous, non-affiliated, local student protest more visible, thereby shifting the location of conflict from the national to the local level.
In France, secularism is celebrated in the public sphere. The paper makes general arguments about France’s changing identity and specific arguments about the burqa and niqab ban. It explains how French history shaped the ideology of secularism and of public civil religion, and how colonial legacy, immigration, fear of terrorism and security needs have led France to adopt the trinity of indivisibilité, sécurité, laïcité while paying homage to the traditional trinity of liberté, égalité, fraternité. While the motto of the French Revolution is still symbolically and politically important, its practical significance as it has been translated to policy implementation has been eroded. The emergence of the new trinity at the expense of the old one is evident when analyzing the debates concerning cultural policies in France in the face of the Islamic garb, the burqa and the niqab, which are perceived as a challenge to France’s national secular raison d'être. The French Republic has attempted to keep public space secular. Is the burqa and niqab ban socially just? Does it reasonably balance the preservation of societal values and freedom of conscience? It is argued that the burqa and niqab ban is neither just nor reasonable in the eyes of the women and girls who wish to wear the Muslim garb, their families and community, and that paternalism that holds that the ban is for the women’s own good is a poor, coercive excuse. Claims for paternalistic coercion to protect adult women from their own culture when they do not ask for protection are not sufficiently reasonable to receive vindication.
S-shaped value function of prospect theory
First difference and changes in the relative probability of voting for candidates
Predicted probabilities of vote choice based on the changes in the psychological distance from Macron
Predicted probabilities of Y based on the changes in ‘Both candidates are losses’
Do voters vote for the candidate they like or vote against their dislike? This paper aims to broaden the understanding of voting behavior and expand the scope of voting models by incorporating loss aversion, the central concept of the prospect theory, into the traditional proximity model. By testing the ‘vote-against model’ on the 2017 French presidential election data, this paper shows that the French electorate weighed the psychological losses more than gains in their final vote decision. Furthermore, this paper finds that the vote-against model explains and predicts the French electorate’s voting behavior better than the proximity model.
Top-cited authors
Gilles Ivaldi
  • Sciences Po Paris
Emiliano Grossman
  • Sciences Po Paris
Simon Persico
  • Sciences Po Grenoble
Abel François
  • Université de Lille
Nonna Mayer
  • Sciences Po Paris