Friday, January 9, 2015

Post-Terror Politics in France

My article on the post-terror political landscape in The American Prospect.

4 comments:

Passerby said...

Broken link.

The article can be found there:
http://prospect.org/article/politics-terrorism-lead-desperate-hollande-embrace-sarkozy

Anonymous said...

Were Marine Le Pen & FN leaders THAT upset at being excluded from the March on Sunday? Their exclusion played into their narrative of being outsiders against the UMPS politico-media elite. Had Marine Le Pen been invited by Hollande to join the parade alongside him and the other parties, she would've risked being viewed as selling out, losing her "street cred" in the eyes of FN voters, by joining with the political establishment.
I think the PS and the Left in general refused to allow the FN to join with them due to their ideological blinders. It is something they could never ever bring themselves to do if even the Republic was being assaulted by mortal enemy, like oh let's Islamist terrorism.
But the FN, and Vichy and Fascism provoke even stronger feelings perhaps because the feelings are so old and because the enemy is so close and so "similar", almost family. Disgust with Far Right is so ingrained into the identity of the French Left that the latter could not but reject any notion of "unity" with the former.

FrédéricLN said...

The column makes very good points, as far as I can understand the situation and strategies.

The PS meets a very serious issue Mr Cambadélis, and certainly others, perfectly identified: the shift of the opinion "against anything coming from abroad or from the future" freezes its militant forces, gives the floor to the FN, and the electoral victories to either FN or UMP. In this situation, the center and the "moderate right" (i.e. most mayors and MPs, with Fillon, Juppé, Borloo and the like) have all interest to break all bridges with Hollande/Valls, as "in the center" or "social-démocrates" as they might pretend to be. They are compelled to snarl, in order to keep in touch with their radicalizing voters.

But in the present post-terror situation, they have their backs to the wall: FN will attack directly islam, and most of them would not agree to follow FN on that. They are then compelled to follow the line of the administration (i.e., on one hand talk of peace and demonize the social networks, while on the other hand, arresting as most djihadists as possible and trying to enforce a "surveillance society", thanks to the same "social networks" infrastructures; as you noticed, liberals are voiceless, or, like Dany Cohn-Bendit, they talk but have no serious agenda to push.)

Nicolas Sarkozy perfectly noticed the trap (something he is excellent at) and tries to keep the bridge between this policy and the voters' expectations, when he says we have to "ask the question of islam" (poser la question de l'islam), a quite creative use of French language.

FrédéricLN said...

(oops, "keep the bridge between this (Hollande's) policy and the voters' expectations" is no relevant way to express Mr Sarkozy's strategy. I should think a bit more and elaborate!).