The ‘territorialization’ of the Front National’s populist politics in France

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Series Details Volume 16, Number 6, Pages 1033-1050
Publication Date November 2018
ISSN 1472-4790 (print) | 1740-388X (online)
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Based on a case study of the French Front National (FN), this paper examines the territorialization of national-populist parties. We adopt a sub-national approach and ask to which extent the FN engages in different ideological and organizational strategies to take advantage of territorialized opportunities. We draw on a comparative qualitative analysis of two emblematic French regions with the highest electoral returns for the FN, namely Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Hauts-de-France.

We find that the FN is adapting its supply of national-populism to different arenas and contexts where cultural and economic issues vary in salience and in the resonance they find in the political process. In doing so, the FN seems to be successfully meeting the needs and interests of the local constituencies that it targets. However, this may produce greater ideological and organizational heterogeneity, possibly hampering the party’s electoral prospects nationally.

This article is part of a special issue: Addressing the territorial dimensions in party-based populism

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