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WORLD AFFAIRS: Le Pen vs. Macron: A French Rejection of Establishment Parties?
April 24, 2017 @ 6:30 PM—7:30 PM PDT$7 – $20
On April 23 and May 7, French voters will make their way to the polls to decide the outcome of one of the most unpredictable and talked-about French presidential elections in modern times. Embezzlement scandals and unprecedented unpopularity have sidelined both major parties, leaving two self-styled populists in the lead, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. Centrist Macron, a political-novice who has vowed to break away from an “obsolete, clan-based political system to win the French election,” touts globalization and openness as the pathway to a stronger France. Le Pen, on the other hand, vows to isolate and call a referendum to Frexit, decrying globalization as the ultimate threat to France.
It appears that the battle is no longer between the left and the right, but rather between the open and the closed.
Will Le Pen take power on the heels of a global populist backlash; will Macron prevail; or is there still hope for the established parties? What consequences will this historic election have within the EU and beyond? In the likely event that an establishment party controls parliament and an outsider takes the presidency, how will the government function?
Dr. Jonah Levy, an expert in French Politics and Vice Chair of UC Berkeley’s Political Science department, and James Kirchick, Author of ‘The End of Europe’ and correspondent for the Daily Beast, will share insights about the possible implications of one of France’s most exciting presidential elections in living memory.
Author, “The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age”, Yale University Press
Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley
Lecturer in European History, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley