CFP: French Elections 2022: Where Next for France?

One day online workshop

Tuesday 24 May 2022

09.30-15.30 BST

If you would like to present, please send a title and abstract (c. 200 words) to Rainbow Murray (rainbowmurray@gmail.com) by 8 April 2022.

France elects its next President on 24 April 2022. One month later, the French Politics and Policy Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association (PSA) invites you to take stock of the outcome and look forward to what to expect over the next five years. With the legislative elections coming up in June, and France facing numerous significant challenges, we are looking for expert analysis to cut through the hype and illuminate the key issues.

We intend to host three 90-minute panels on each of the following areas, and invite papers speaking to any of these themes:

  1. Electoral politics, political parties and party system.
    France’s 2017 presidential election has been described as a turning point in electoral politics. The election of Emmanuel Macron, at the head of a brand-new centre party La République en Marche (LREM) which won a seat majority in the National Assembly a few weeks later, has transformed party competition, increased voter dealignment and shaken partisan politics to its core. To what extent does the 2022 presidential election represent a continuation of these trends? What future is there for mainstream parties on the left and right? Can Macron’s LREM win a second legislative election in June? What does the emergence of Eric Zemmour and Reconquête tell us about the state of the far-right in France? What lessons can the fragmented left learn from this election and candidate selection through a ‘popular primary’ ? Can the French political centre endure beyond Macron?
  2. European politics, foreign affairs and international policy.
    In 2017, in the shadow of Brexit, Emmanuel Macron went against the grain of domestic politics in many EU countries and campaigned on a pro-European platform.

He has maintained this stance over the past five years and especially during France’s six-month rotating presidency which coincided with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian war has put issues of military power, energy independence and the EU’s defence capacity at the top of the policy agenda in France and the EU.

How has the Ukrainian war impacted the campaigns of individual presidential candidates in 2022? How can France rise to the foreign policy challenges created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? To what extent can France still claim to have a national defence policy? What is France’s future role within the European Union? How far can France contribute to addressing the global climate crisis? How effective has Macron’s leadership been in this regard? What is the future of Anglo-French relations post- Brexit?

3. Domestic policies.

During his first term in office Macron has had to face many domestic challenges, including an interrupted pension reform, waves of anti-elite uprisings against social inequalities by the gilets jaunes movement, and the covid-19 pandemic, to name only three. The substantive knock-on effects on the economy and people’s lives are still to come.

What are the prospects for France restoring economic prosperity in the wake of the pandemic? How can France address the cost of living crisis? Will Macron be able to reintroduce and push through pension reforms? What other domestic challenges will France face in the coming years?

Paper-givers will be invited to speak for 15-20 minutes. You will not be obliged to produce a written paper. However, we plan to publish the proceedings in a special issue of an academic journal. Participants’ expressions of interest will be part of this endeavour. The language of the conference will be English but we warmly welcome contributions from international scholars. We also welcome contributions from junior as well as more established academics.

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