Sociologist Razmig Keucheyan, a professor at the Université Paris IV (Sorbonne), reflects on the fallout of the French presidential election. First published in Spanish at Nueva Sociedad, and then revised in French after the first round results for Contretemps. Translated from the French by David Broder.
For the first time under the French Fifth Republic, neither of the two main parties (the Socialists and the Republicans) managed to reach the second round of the presidential election. What does this change in French politics represent, also taking into account the particularities of Marine Le Pen and the dizzying rise of Emmanuel Macron?
Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron are two different cases. It had long been predicted that Marine Le Pen would be present in the second round. That did not surprise anyone: all the surveys said that this would happen. People had so much taken this for given that there were few protests on the evening of the vote.
Edwy Plenel, author of For the Muslims, calls for a vote against Le Pen and for Macron on May 7, not in order to endorse his programme, but for the sake of defending democracy as a space of free contestation, including in the face of the En Marche! candidate’s own policies. First published in Mediapart, which Plenel founded.
Marine and Jean-Marie Le Pen lead an FN march, 2014.
To vote against Le Pen by voting for Macron is not to vote for this latter’s programme. It is to vote to defend democracy as a conflictual space, traversed by divergent interests and competing causes. A space where its contradictions, its pluralism, its diversity, its claims and its hopes can freely express themselves — including faced with the policies of a Macron presidency.
This text by Alain Badiou first appeared on the Mediapart blog. Translated by David Broder.
I understand the bitterness of those remonstrating after the first round of the elections, particularly those left disappointed by Mélenchonism. That said, whatever they do, or say, there was no particular aberration, no swindle, in this vote.
This interview with Gerassimos Moschonas— on European democracy, Euroscepticism, and the Greek Left — was conducted by Ioulia Livaditi and Nikolas Nenedakis and first published in Rethinking Greece.
Moschonas is currently an associate professor in comparative politics in the Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences in Athens. He is the author of In the Name of Social Democracy: The Great Transformation: 1945 to the Present and has written widely on European intergration, social democracy, and the Greek crisis.
One of the central findings of a nation-wide survey, recently conducted by diaNEOsis foundation under your supervision, is the consolidation of a new kind of Euroscepticism in Greece. How does this trend relate to similar trends in the rest of Europe?
Up until the crisis of 2009, Greece was a markedly pro-EU country. Since the onset of the 2009 crisis, however, a significant shift has been documented in the findings of the Eurobarometer and explored in greater depth in the Dianeosis survey and Dianeosis focus groups. Greece, a country that was at the forefront of pro-Europeanism, is now bringing up the rear. Whilst there is still majority support for remaining in the EU and the Eurozone, almost all other indicators (approval of European policies, trust in EU institutions, perception of benefit from Greece’s participation in the EU, etc.) have either declined dramatically or totally collapsed. On the traditional axis of pro-Europeanism and Euroscepticism, Greece is now among the most Eurosceptic EU countries. Disapproval of European institutions and policies is even greater than in Great Britain, a country that is often considered the paradigm of Euroscepticism and recently voted in favour of Brexit.