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Memoria e Ricerca

Right and Left in French politics

di Vincent Duclert
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 41 (2012), p. 13

The recent presidential elections in 2012 have shown that left-right cleavage was still dominant in France. The redistribution of political forces, strongly awaited by the center (but also by the extremes) did not take place. At the same time, the major issues, such the European unification, the future of the nation, the future of the Republic, the role of the state, continue to cross left and right fields, revealing other cleavages that meet other historical or philosophical contingencies. However, the left-right opposition in France structured contemporary political life, organizing political families, determining the meaning and practice of institutions. Thence, the question is to understand what defines these two political fields and what history brings to their knowledge since the French Revolution, or they are implemented. Key words: Presidential elections, Cleavage, Left, Right, Radical left, Radical right