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  • Politics on the Fringe: The People, Policies, and Organization of the French National Front

    Author(s): Edward G. DeClair, Edward G. DeClair
    Published: 1999
    Pages: 280
    Illustrations: 26 tables, 2 figures
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-2139-2
  • Cloth: $89.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-2237-5
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  • List of Figures  
    List of Tables  
    Acknowledgments  
    Introduction  
    1. The French Far Right: The Legacy of History  
    2. The Far Right Reappears: The Creation of the National Front  
    3. Initial Success: Election Victories in 1984 and 1986  
    4. Legislative Losses and Beyond  
    5. The Political Agenda of the National Front  
    6. The Leadership and Organization of the National Front  
    7. Voting for the National Front  
    8. The Far Right in Comparative Perspective  
    Conclusion  
    Afterword  
    Appendix 1. Elected and Party Positions Held by Respondents in 1988  
    Appendix 2. Evolution of the National Front's Political Bureau  
    Notes  
    Bibiliography  
    Index  
  • “DeClair rightly points out that French extremism has a long and durable history, and has included some of the most prestigious intellectuals among its ranks. . . . Recommended.” — H. Zeigler, Choice

    “[T]he most up-to-date and comprehensive study [of the French National Front] in English.” — Robert Tombs, Times Literary Supplement

    “DeClair offers a detailed survey of the Front’s electoral successes and the narrative account in the two chapters dealing with this process is comprehensive and informative. The interviews with party representatives, and their responses to DeClair’s questionnaires, flesh out the picture of the Front’s development and give an authentic feel to the descriptions of how the growth of the party took shape.” — Jim Wolfreys, Contemporary Politics

    “A thorough and engaging study of the development of France’s Front National . . . . Based upon his commendable body of evidence, DeClair produces an eminently readable survey of the Front National’s history, leaders and future prospects.” — William M. Downs, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

    “[A]n informative and intriguing treatment of elite opinion within the party, drawing heavily upon original interviews. The broad endorsement of neoliberalism through most of the Front’s formative period is particularly well rendered, as is the switch to more nationalistic economics in this decade. . . . [A] highly useful book. . . .” — Bruce Morrison, Governance

    “[A] fine book on an important and controversial topic.” — Paul Seaton, Perspectives on Political Science

    Reviews

  • “DeClair rightly points out that French extremism has a long and durable history, and has included some of the most prestigious intellectuals among its ranks. . . . Recommended.” — H. Zeigler, Choice

    “[T]he most up-to-date and comprehensive study [of the French National Front] in English.” — Robert Tombs, Times Literary Supplement

    “DeClair offers a detailed survey of the Front’s electoral successes and the narrative account in the two chapters dealing with this process is comprehensive and informative. The interviews with party representatives, and their responses to DeClair’s questionnaires, flesh out the picture of the Front’s development and give an authentic feel to the descriptions of how the growth of the party took shape.” — Jim Wolfreys, Contemporary Politics

    “A thorough and engaging study of the development of France’s Front National . . . . Based upon his commendable body of evidence, DeClair produces an eminently readable survey of the Front National’s history, leaders and future prospects.” — William M. Downs, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics

    “[A]n informative and intriguing treatment of elite opinion within the party, drawing heavily upon original interviews. The broad endorsement of neoliberalism through most of the Front’s formative period is particularly well rendered, as is the switch to more nationalistic economics in this decade. . . . [A] highly useful book. . . .” — Bruce Morrison, Governance

    “[A] fine book on an important and controversial topic.” — Paul Seaton, Perspectives on Political Science

  • Politics on the Fringe is simply the best book on the French National Front available in the English language. Intelligent, original, thoughtful, careful, and well-written, it is a marvelous mixture of primary and secondary research. Its insights into the minds and motives of the National Front and its supporters will undoubtedly serve as the foundation for our understanding of this important far right group for years to come.”—Anthony Messina, Tufts University —

    “The specter of right-wing populism presents a major challenge to the party systems of western Europe. By taking an empirically-based, ideologically-neutral approach to a very emotional subject, Politics on the Fringe offers a deeper understanding of the National Front and a greater insight into its internal organizational behavior.”—Vincent E. McHale, Case Western Reserve University —

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  • Description

    Once a marginal political coalition, the French National Front has become the most high-profile far-right organization in Europe. In Politics on the Fringe Edward G. DeClair provides the first extensive analysis of the Front’s history, from its creation in 1972 and outcast status in the early 1980s to its achievement of broad-based support and show of political strength in the 1997 elections.

    Using rare, in-depth interviews with twenty-nine members of the Front elite, as well as public opinion survey data and electoral results, DeClair examines the internal structure of the Front, its political agenda, and its growing influence in France. DeClair shows how the party has dramatically expanded its traditionally narrow core constituency by capitalizing upon anxieties about national identity, immigration, European unification, and rising unemployment. In illustrating how the rhetoric surrounding such topics is key to the Front’s success, DeClair examines the Front’s legacy by detailing the links between the French far-right and similar movements in such countries as Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, and the United States. Finally, Politics on the Fringe offers not only a complete picture of the Front’s increasingly influential role in French partisan politics but also further insight into the resurgence of right-wing extremism throughout western societies in the late twentieth century.

    This volume will be of primary importance to political scientists and those engaged with European politics, culture, and history. It will also appeal to those concerned with right-wing populism and political movements.

    About The Author(s)

    Edward G. DeClair is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Lynchburg College.

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