Sat September 15, 2012
Socialism Takes Over France, Again?
After François Hollande’s victory in the French presidential elections in May followed by socialist victories in the more recent legislative elections, many commentators declared a decisive swing to the Left in Europe’s second largest economy, at a moment of intense political paralysis in the Eurozone. This month historian Alice Conklin explores why the socialists won now in France, after two decades out of power, and what their return portends for the future of the country. Rather than an extreme shift to “socialism,” French politics in the post-WWII era have been marked by a broad consensus across party lines over social policy and the basic architecture of the French welfare state.