Where: Theatre - Elisabeth Murdoch Building, University of Melbourne
Date: Tuesday 29 August 2017, 6:00 - 7:30pm


The deep crisis of trust of the French with regard to policy in general and to the forces of government in particular, was expressed in French voters' aspirations for what one of the candidates (Jean-Luc Melenchon, extreme-left) called "degagisme"(get-outism), a slogan taken from the mantra of the Tunisian demonstrators during the Arab Spring.

These aspirations were strongly demonstrated during the recent French elections, by abstention, by vote for populist forces or by voting for Macron. Emmanuel Macron, who emerged on the political scene less than a year ago, embodies an unprecedented form of protest voting while being a committed defender of the European Union and a culturally open society that is liberal in terms of morals.

In a climate of opinion at a European and even international scale (in which the domino theory seemed to predict a victory of the populists in the Netherlands, Austria and then in France after the victory of the Brexit campaign and Donald Trump); the victory of Macron appeared as a relief for the continuation of the project of European construction. Hence the enthusiasm that his victory has generated beyond the borders of France. But what about within France itself?

Professor Arnaud Mercier will consider the state of political disenchantment of French citizens, the motivations driving the Macron vote, the sociological and ideological divisions within France, and the partisan restructuring at work.

Misha Ketchell, Editor of The Conversation, will chair this seminar and Dr Maryse Helbert, Melbourne School of Government, will be a discussant.

Arnaud Mercier is Professor of Information and Political Communication at the University of Paris 2 Pantheon-Assas. He is also president and chairman of the board of the The Conversation France. He conducts research on journalism, social media in electoral context and political communication.

He has recently published in co-direction Political Campaigning on Twitter: the EU Elections 2014 in the digital public sphere.


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