The Allies of the Front National: A Sociological Overview of the French Nationalist Groups and Parties

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 9:00 AM
Room: 411
Oral Presentation
Laure GICQUEL , Politique et Organisations, Laboratoire Pacte, Grenoble, France
Since 2002, when the Front National (FN) suddenly entered the final stage of the French, presidential elections, the rise of nationalism, embodied by the rise in the polls of this party, is a concern in France. However, there are many ideologies that join under the Front National label, and they are, in a paradoxical way, not necessarily compatible altogether, and can even be totally opposed : radical Christians, « identitarians », anti-sionists, sovereignists, anti-muslims, conspirationnists, a few neo-nazis ...people voting for the FN don't necessarily abide by the same doctrine.

Who are the voters of the Front National and why do they unite, in spite of the large differences that exists between their beliefs and socio-professional categories, is the question to which this communication will try to answer. First, by describing the sociological history of the different groups or categories of voters, and how they came to ally themselves with the FN. Secondly, by analyzing in detail the communication strategy of the Front National and the external elements that supports it, especially the large Internet nationalist network : websites supporting one ideology or the other, linked between them by affinity, some even violently criticizing each others (for example, identitarians and the anti-sionist groups), but every single of them pointing to the Front National website, creating a galaxy of beliefs where a great number of voters can recognize themselves.

This work will be based on interviews with members of the Front National, but also activists of different groups voting for the FN without suscribing to the current main political line of the party (conspirationnists, anti-muslims, anti-sionists, neo-nazis), on periods of observations in events organized by these groups, and on the study of the nationalist internet network, as well as on a large bibliography on social movements, populism and nationalism.