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Political Radicalism, Policy Expectation, and Electoral Competition in France

A Means to the End?

Jocelyn Evans

Political parties use policy radicalism as a means of attaining electoral success. Differentiation from other parties and ideological renewal after a period of incumbency or prolonged opposition are valid reasons for policy innovation, but excessive radicalization has a number of detrimental effects, including mismanaging voter expectations. This article analyzes a number of examples of policy radicalization under the French Fifth Republic. It starts from concepts taken from policy mood and spatial competition models, and examines how French political parties of both Left and Right have overreached in their ideological stances, and thereby exacerbated political disenchantment among the French public. The article concludes by looking at the notion that mainstream politicians may not be acting in their own best interests when they radicalize the political agenda by misreading electoral competitive cues.

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Nicolas Sarkozy a-t-il radicalisé la droite française?

Changements idéologiques et étiquetages politiques

Haegel Florence

This article draws on two research strategies to analyze the radicalizing effects of "Sarkozyism" in France. The first uses the computer program ALCESTE to compare systematically the presidential campaign discourses of Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy as a way to evaluate how Sarkozy has altered the ideology of the French right. This analysis shows that a radicalization of the French right has in fact taken place with regard to questions of immigration, national identity, and sécurité. The second strategy makes use of the sociology of labeling to analyze expressions of "anti-Sarkozyism" on the internet. A cartographic study of the web sheds light on the variety and dynamism of this anti-Sarkozyism, and in so doing helps us take the full measure of Sarkozyism's strong polarizing effects.

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The Center-Right’s Search for a Leader: Crisis and Radicalization

Francesco Raniolo

This chapter deals with the political crisis of the Italian center-right that started with the fall of the Berlusconi IV government and the 2013 general elections. In 2015, the struggle for leadership of the center-right took place between Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, resulting in the reversal of the balance of power between Forza Italia and the Lega Nord. Based on election results and some electoral surveys, Lega Nord seems to have become the third party at the national level and, through a process of radicalization, also the party of the new Italian right. From an organizational point of view, Salvini’s leadership can be defined as a personalized and postmodern media leadership. The systemic risks of this scenario are the absence of a center-right party that can compete with the Partito Democratico led by Matteo Renzi, the growing fragmentation of the center-right, and the conflict between moderate and radical tendencies. All these factors challenge the return to an alternating democracy.

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Political Radicalism in France

Perspectives on a Protean Concept

James Shields

This introductory article reflects on the new momentum that political radicalism has taken on in France. The ebb and flow of radical aspiration featured regularly in French politics under the Fourth and early Fifth Republics, before the failure of the "Socialist experiment" in the early 1980s brought about a paradigm shift. In the wake of this failure and with the "end of ideology" supposedly in sight, political leaders and parties tempered their appeals to radical solutions and conspired, not least through recurrent power-sharing, to vacate mainstream political discourse of much of its former radicalism. Since the presidential election of 2007, however, there has been a marked return to promises of radical change as the common currency of political discourse across the full left-right spectrum in France. This article introduces a special issue of French Politics, Culture & Society that brings together scholars from France, Britain, and Canada to discuss some of the meanings, expressions, and prospects of political radicalism in France today.

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When the Outrage Becomes Personal, and the Urge to Act Unbearable

Therese Sandrup

importance of how “others” respond to outrageous events affects the feeling of being morally obliged to take action. Moral Outrage and Radicalization As an anthropologist currently involved in analyzing ethnographic data on preventative measures against

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Radical Right-Wing Populists in Parliament

Examining the Alternative for Germany in European Context

Lars Rensmann

typical or “normalized,” radical(ized) right-wing populist movement-party that expresses and fosters profound sociocultural discontent, political polarization, and a broader authoritarian-nationalist, politico-cultural “noisy counterrevolution” in and

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The Pandemic Factor

The COVID-19 Crisis in the Alternative for Germany's 2021 Federal Election Campaign

Lars Rensmann and Thijs de Zee

measures faced pushback from a robust minority of determined, increasingly hardened and radicalized opponents to all such actions, among them participants of the so-called Querdenker Bewegung (“lateral thinker” movement). The movement, which originated in

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Antisemitism in the “Alternative for Germany” Party

Samuel Salzborn

. While one stream of research focusses primarily on the strategic aspects of the AfD, such as its populist rhetoric and use of social media, another devotes more attention to the worldview of the AfD, and its increasing radicalization from a right

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The Specter of Communism

Denmark, 1848

Bertel Nygaard

. The fast-paced shifts in the political dynamics of the French republic were also echoed in other parts of Europe: the revolutionary offensives of republican and constitutionalist forces during the spring of 1848; labor radicalization and new social

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Disharmonious Continuity

Critiquing Presence with Sartre and Derrida

Gavin Rae

through the (pre-reflective) nihilating actions of consciousness is really an effect of a pre-individual movement called différance . With this, Derrida continues Sartre’s critique of presence but undercuts and so radicalizes Sartre’s solutions to the