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Sarkozism: Politics recast?

  • Is there something new about Sarkozy’s politics? Can we speak of an emerging Sarkozism? If so, what are its elements and how does it manage to articulate differing, even conflicting, matters of concern in a seemingly single political agenda. And finally, is it necessary to articulate an anti-, or a non-, Sarkozism? What will it consist of? The special issue attempts to explore, from a critical standpoint, the Sarkozy phenomenon.

    Alberto Toscano – Liquidate ‘68, or, the obscure subject of French politics

    Any hope of liquidating Sarkozy’s reactionary project in France, argues Alberto Toscano, will be obliged in some sense to ‘repeat’ ’68, not by cloaking new political content in the kitschified icons of rebellions past, but by repeating the spirit of political and organisational innovation contained by the best products of that experience.

    Jacques Julliard – The ‘black October’ of Sarkozy

    Jacques Julliard predicts a coming popular disenchantemt over Sarkozy’s policies in spring, argues that his opening towards the left is limited to the corruption of some of its leading figures, and talks about the prospects for the revitalisation of the French Socialist Party.

    Andreas Pantazopoulos – The return of the real

    Sarkozy’s focus on concrete, practical politics does not lack any kind of ideological context, claims Andreas Pantazopoulos. It marks, instead, the construction of a new agitational right that provides national ideology with a concrete outline and content.

    Loic Wacquant – Ghettos and anti-ghettos: An anatomy of urban poverty

    Loic Wacquant discusses his new book, Urban Outcasts, an analysis of the transformations of the the US ghetto and the European lower-class districts. He claims that the Red Belt banlieues in France form, what he calls, anti-ghettos: spaces of ethnic heterogeneity, porous boundaries, decreasing institutional density and lacking a shared cultural identity.

    Nicolas Baygert – The populist shades of Sarkozism or the politics of posture

    Sarkozy’s politics embody a new-fledged populism, argues Nicolas Baygert. Circumventing the traditional democratic debate and directly focusing on the people’s desires, Sarkozy’s populism appears as a well-tailored idiom for contemporary voter’s behaviour.

    Alain Bergounioux – Nicolas Sarkozy: A new right?

    Alain Bergounioux finds that the core of Sarkozy’s discourse is to address the individual. Sarkozy chiefly defends the vision of a society of individuals, where collectiveness is being scorned and usually presented as a result of coercion.

    Didier Chaudet – Sarkozism through its political opposition

    In the absense of a strong opposition coming from the left, Didier Chaudet analyses Sarkozism in relation to its adversaries on the centre and the on right of the political spectrum: the Democratic Movement of François Bayrou, the National Front, and the political group led by Dominique de Villepin.

    Noel Hatch – Reclaiming the story from Sarkozism: Controlling our lives by shaping them together

    Through an analysis of Sarkozy’s politics as a struggle for attaining cultural hegemony, Noel Hatch attempts to outline a counter-strategy for European social democratic parties.

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