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The EU Discourse in the 2012 French Presidential Election

Francesca Vassallo

The 2012 French presidential election witnessed an increase in discussion about the European Union and its policies. To an equal degree the two top contenders, Nicolas Sarkozy and Fran?ois Hollande, criticized European policies and made promises to rectify EU mistakes, if elected. European institutions and decisions became scapegoats for domestic failures and tough economic choices, reflecting a long-term surge in Euroscepticism among French voters, especially in comparison to EU averages. Both candidates sought advantage by engaging in “EU-Negative“ campaigns to be able to mobilize as many potential voters as possible. Surprisingly, a half-year of EU criticisms has not led, at least in the short term, to a further increase in anti-EU positions in the public opinion.

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Paradoxes of the Gender Gap in France

Mariette Sineau

In France, the 21 April 2002 presidential election result has renewed interest in the electoral cleavage between women and men, who cast their votes very differently to qualify candidates for the second round of the election. Among women voters, Lionel Jospin (the Socialist leader) came in second behind Jacques Chirac, with Jean-Marie Le Pen (leader of the Front national) being eliminated from the contest; among men, Le Pen came out on top followed by Chirac. On the basis of a major quantitative election survey conducted in France in 2002 by the Centre de Recherches Politiques de Sciences Po, this article undertakes to understand why fewer women than men vote for the extreme Right. Sociologically, Le Pen made his lowest scores among two groups of women that contrast in numerous aspects: young, highly educated professional women, and older, retired, widowed women. Strong ideological logics lie behind this contrasted sociology of female anti-Lepenism, rationales that are generation-specific, but gender-specific as well: feminism and Catholicism "process" male and female identity differently. (This research was first published in French in Bruno Cautrès and Nonna Mayer, eds., Le Nouveau Désordre électoral (2004), 207-28.)

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Progress But Still No Présidente

Women and the 2012 French Presidential Elections

Rainbow Murray

Several women vied to be elected France's new president in 2012. These included Ségolène Royal, former Socialist presidential candidate in 2007, and Martine Aubry, Socialist party leader. Both these women were defeated by Fran?ois Hollande in the Socialist primary. In the main election, Marine le Pen garnered many headlines as the new leader of the controversial far-right party, the Front national. This article considers the campaigns and the media coverage of these women, as well as highlights the impact for women of the scandal surrounding disgraced politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The policy proposals of the different candidates are evaluated, before concluding with a discussion of the future prospects for women. There is some evidence of progress for women since the previous election, but women are still far from achieving full political equality in France.

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Editorial

Peter R. Gardner and Benjamin Abrams

-democracy movement in Hong Kong resumed street action. In August, thousands amassed in Minsk to oppose the result of the Belarussian presidential election, alleged by many to be fraudulent. Days later, large crowds of demonstrators gathered in Bangkok calling for

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Logiques de Mobilisation et Inégalités Sociales de Participation Électorale en France, 2002-2012

Céline Braconnier and Jean-Yves Dormagen

The presidential election of 2012 produced a high turn-out. Only 20 percent of the electorate abstained. This significant mobilization, however, hides renewed social inequalities in political participation that seemed to have previously disappeared. Based on national and local data surveys, this paper shows that certain kinds of people are less likely to vote than the average citizen. While traditionally more prone to abstain than other voters, many young, poorly educated, and suburban people participated in the presidential election in 2007, but not in 2012. In this later case, they seem to have not been interested in the electoral campaign.

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And a merciful God did not come

A reflection on John Kerry's Viet Nam quagmire

August Carbonella

The 'Viet Nam War' entered the 2004 US presidential election in a most uncanny fashion, sparking a surrogate discussion of the limits of present imperial ambition and doctrine. This essay explores the limitations and possibilities of this proxy discussion to facilitate an understanding of John Kerry's political unraveling, as well as the continuing political dilemmas facing the US left.

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Jospin, Political Cohabitation and Left Governance

John P. Willerton and Martin Carrier

The April 21st defeat of Socialist party candidate Lionel Jospin in the first round of the 2002 presidential elections shockingly ended the five-year reign of arguably the most productive government in Fifth Republic France.1 The Jospin government of the Gauche Plurielle departed as surprisingly as it had come to power five years earlier, its legacy of unprecedented success in Left coalition building and far-ranging policy construction seemingly voided by Jospin’s embarrassing loss to Jean-Marie Le Pen and the Far Right.

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Le CPE est mort--et maintenant?

Erhard Friedberg

The failure of the CPE does not prove the impossibility of reform in France, but rather illustrates political actors' incompetence when it comes to developing and leading reform efforts. The article argues the foregoing thesis by reviewing different moments when competence in these matters would have been able to make a difference. It then examines the collateral damage of this aborted reform with regard to the adminstration's capacity to act and with regard to the French political landscape from now until the 2007 presidential elections.

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Les élections françaises de 2007

Gérard Grunberg

The 2007 presidential elections have been the most important in France since 1981 because they provoked ruptures in the way the state and the French political system function. These ruptures, which this essay explores, include: the structural advantage the Right now has over the Left in national elections; the extension of the president's power and role in the regime; the transformation of the French political parties system into bipartism; and, finally, evolution inside the two major French parties due not only to the personality, ideas and choices of their respective candidates but also to the growing role of the president in the regime and its effects.

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Analyse de l'élection présidentielle des 22 avril et 6 mai et des élections législatives des 10 et 17 juin 2007

une rupture politique?

Pascal Perrineau

Nicolas Sarkozy's victory in the 2007 French presidential elections represents a true rupture: rupture with years of political apathy, rupture with what was an escalating rise of political protest, rupture with a "law" that since 1981 seemed to require that every outgoing majority be beaten. Sarkozy's electoral victory was substantial. It was built on a notion that what the French were looking for was a strong sense of direction, and it gave rise to a dynamic of striking change right after the election (a political opening to the left, a shift in presidential style, disarray in the Socialist Party, and the marginalization of the National Front).