Empire's Legacy: Roots of a Far-Right Affinity in Contemporary France

ISBN : 9780190875664

John W.P. Veugelers
272 Pages
156 x 156 mm
Pub date
Jan 2020
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Many argue that globalization and its discontents explain the strength of populism and nativism in contemporary Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In France, though, an older potential born of imperialism has propelled the far right of Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen. To explain how the National Front gained a foothold in France, Empire's Legacy connects local politics with historical developments that span nearly two centuries. Its analysis hinges on the idea of political potential: the possibility that a social group will support a movement, pressure group, political party, or other organized option. Starting from the French conquest of Algeria, John W.P Veugelers follows the career of a potential, showing how it erupted into support for the National Front in Toulon, the largest city under the far right of any postwar European democracy. Relying on archival research, electoral surveys, and personal interviews, Veugelers shows that voluntary associations, interest-group politics, and patron-client relations knit together a far-right affinity bequeathed by French imperialism. Veugelers examines the possibilities and limits of far-right power at the local level, moreover, and the barriers that effective, scandal-free government pose to extremist success. Exploring new terrain in the study of contemporary politics, Empire's Legacy makes the case for a subcultural approach that connects social networks to symbolic codes.


Part One: Sedimentation of a Political Affinity
Chapter 1. Settler Relations and Identities in Colonial Algeria
Chapter 2. The Unmaking of the Colony
Part Two: Ex-colonials in the Metropole
Chapter 3. From Newcomers to Incipient Constituency
Chapter 4. New Political Configurations
Part Three: Shift in Opportunities
Chapter 5. Gaullism Loses Ground
Chapter 6. Building a Base for the National Front
Chapter 7. The Far Right Organizes in the Var
Chapter 8. A City under the Far Right
Part Four: The Far Right Endures
Chapter 9. Discourse and Politics
Chapter 10. Transmitting a Far Right Affinity
Chapter 11. Holding Off the National Front

About the author: 

John W.P. Veugelers is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He has written widely on the far right, immigration politics, social movements, and voluntary associations in Canada, France, and Italy. The recipient of awards for outstanding teaching at the University of Toronto, Veugelers has been a visiting professor at universities in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and a visiting fellow at the Camargo Foundation in France.

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