The article examines how the current Covid-19 crisis in France crosses into existing socio-economic, political, and existential crises faced by the nation in recent years. It considers the pandemic's impact in the context of the criticism that the French government response provoked in opposition parties regarding its preparedness and strategies. Beyond the multiple budget cuts that have affected the health-care system in France in recent years, and significantly lessen, according to critiques, the country's ability to tackle Covid-19, a growing number of French people link the failure of their government and the rise of violence in society to France's growing dependence on the EU and the decline of French sovereignty in a globalized world. The pandemic's impact is measured through the prism of the current socio-economic crisis, triggered by months of confinements and curfews; the rise of unemployment and populism; and what it could mean for the future of democracy.
Éric Touya de Marenne is Professor of French at Clemson University. He received his D.E.A. in Comparative Literature at the Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne, and his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. He received the John B. & Thelma A. Gentry Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities, and the Dean's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Service. His research and teaching interests include twentieth and twenty-first century French and Francophone literature and interdisciplinary approaches to literature, art, feminism, culture, theory, ethics, and social studies. He recently published a book entitled Simone de Beauvoir: Le combat au féminin (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2019), and among recent articles, studies on the gilets jaunes movement and the Arab Spring.