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William D. Irvine

Scholars of Third Republic France have long assumed that the political spectrum was divided into a readily identifiable Right and Left, adhering to mutually exclusive positions. But this comfortable political taxonomy could, at times, to violence to political reality. The Right could at some periods in the history of the Third Republic be aggressively nationalistic; at other times it could be positively irenic. The Left was often pacifist, but not always and there were moments when it, or some fraction of it, could be quite bellicose. Neither anti-Semitism nor racism in general were the exclusive province of the Right. On critical issues, the Left could be more refractory to women's rights than was the Right. French fascism claimed to be neither right nor left and at least some French fascist movements could list as many former members of the Left among its leaders as former members of the Right.

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Left Behind by COVID-19

Experiences of “Left-Behind” Girls in Rural China

Jue Wang

social norms and inequalities. This study was motivated by my desire to learn about the challenges that rural “left-behind” girls were experiencing during lockdown and by my concern that some traditional rural child-rearing approaches that put girls at

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The Left Party and the AfD

Populist Competitors in Eastern Germany

Jonathan Olsen

far as to withdraw from exploratory talks with the Greens and cdu in November 2017. Barely registering on the postelection radar screen was the result for the Left Party ( lp ). Some of this undoubtedly had to do with the seeming ambiguity of its

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Neoliberalism, the Left and the Rise of the Far Right

On the Political and Ideological Implications of Capitalism's Subordination of Democracy

Costas Panayotakis

implications of the tension between capitalism and democracy. The main political implication of previous analyses of the tension between capitalism and democracy is that even left-wing governments will have difficulty implementing their program if that program

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Conserving the Left

Reflections on Norberto Bobbio, Anthony Giddens and the Left-Right Distinction

Kate Soper

In a brief exchange with my mother following the British election in 1998, she told me that her bet was that ‘John Major and all the rest of them’ would now be kicking themselves for not having gone ‘New Tory’ and moved a little further to the left. The New Labour success indicated, she thought, that had they done so they could easily have stayed in power. I was not at all sure she was correct in this, but her remark interested me as reflecting both the impossibility of discoursing about politics without the left-right distinction, and one of the main reasons why its continued relevance to the European political situation is being called increasingly into question.

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A Malady of the Left and an Ethics of Communism

Badiouian Diagnosis, Lacanian Cure, Sartrean Responsibility

Andrey Gordienko

the state) in the era of political disorientation occasioned by the disappearance of clear boundaries separating the left from the right. It thus constitutes a remedy to what Badiou diagnoses as a ‘depressive asthenia’ of the left struggling to

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Beyond Left and Right

New Perspectives on the Politics of the Third Republic

Linda E. Mitchell

The articles in this issue all reflect on the various ways in which political trends during the period of the Third Republic have been categorized by both historians of the period and the political actors themselves. Ranging in topic from political trends in the French military in the years after the Dreyfus Affair to the participation of women in the politics of the extreme Right, these pieces focus especially on the need to transcend categories of Left and Right in order to discuss more accurately the ways in which the political party system developed, in particular during the years between the world wars.

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Keith Alexander

Introduction: The Radical Left and West German Parliamentarism I n 2001, photos surfaced of Joschka Fischer, Green Party leader and Germany’s Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor from 1998-2005. The pictures, showing Fischer clashing with

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Carlo Bacetti

In the year 2000, Center leaning political parties and groups played

a major role in the crowded scene of Italian politics. This is especially

true in the case of parties which occupied the center space

of the Center-Left, the focus of this analysis. Their political visibility

notwithstanding, they persistently displayed confused tactics

and contradictory goals. Leading protagonists and supporting

actors disagreed over key questions including the very definition of

“Center” and the political subjects it encompasses, and, with that,

the meaning of the bloc’s left flank. In fact, the groups of the Center-

Left even debated the hyphen linking the two components of

its name. In turn, a political force – the Democrats – was even created

with the strategic goal of bypassing the Left/Right cleavage.

The Democrats sought to unify the various forces that had joined

the Ulivo’s (Olive Tree) electoral cartel into a “democratic party,”

that was inspired by the American Democrats, down to the choice

of a donkey as its symbol – hence their nickname “Asinello.”

Another element that makes it difficult to assign clear boundaries

to the political center was that these groups of the center and Center-

Left repeatedly took the “reformist” label. As a result, it is quite

difficult to trace the boundaries of the semantic universes to which

they refer and, in the end, it is often impossible to assess the true

nature of the issues dividing political forces and of the stakes

involved in particular choices or outcomes. The Center of the Center-

Left is not easily analyzed.

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Jonathan Olsen

The story of Die Linke (Left Party, or LP) over the past thirty years reflects the incomplete project of politically unifying the two halves of Germany. Over the course of its history, the LP has been transformed from a desperate holdover from the communist era, to a populist representative of eastern identity in the decade after unification, and finally to a modern, all-German radical left party. Since 2015, however, the LP has found itself threatened in its eastern German heartland by the radical right Alternative for Germany (AfD), which is attempting to supplant the LP as the voice of eastern German protest.