In her latest article for Project Syndicate, Professor Brigitte Granville scrutinized the anatomy of the populist movements that have been gaining political ground in many western countries. Published this February and drawing on the insights of various Project Syndicate contributors, the article explained how these different movements have a similar zero sum view of the world and pointed to the then forthcoming elections in the Netherlands and France as bellwethers.
The upcoming French elections are the new bellwether of populist politics. In the two-round presidential contest, polls point to Marine Le Pen making it into, but then losing, the second round run-off. Nonetheless, reflecting the growing appeal of the National Front (FN), Ms Le Pen is poised to do considerably better than her father – Jean Marie Le Pen – did in 2002, when he got through to the second round against the then incumbent, Jacques Chirac. In her latest article for the OMFIF bulletin, “Unemployment spurs Le Pen Phenomenon”, Professor Brigitte Granville – CGR Director – argues that to explain the strength of the FN, the poor performance of the French economy matters even more than immigration and other issues touching on identity politics.