The French Exception: The Appeal of Extremism

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In reading the anti-Sarkozy dossier in this week’s l’Express over the weekend, I was struck by how the peculiarities of the French political landscape make it particularly vulnerable to populist fallout from the financial crisis. There’s a depth of support here on both extremes of the political spectrum — whether the extreme-right of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front party (FN), or the far-left embodied by the eloquent Trotskyite mailman, Olivier Besancenot, and his New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) — that is abhorrent in the former case and aberrant in the latter. What that means in practical terms, though, is that the […]

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