How the Le Pen family built and rules the postwar French far right (3/19/21)

Friday, March 19, 2021
9:00am PST / 10:00am MST / 11:00am CST/12:00pm EST / 6:00pm Paris
Federation of Alliances Françaises USA
In English

Join journalist Simon Kuper in conversation with political scientist Catherine Fieschi to discuss how the Le Pens built and changed the French far right. What French historical traditions are they drawing on? Might their party ever win power?

In 1972, Jean-Marie Le Pen founded the far-right Front National party. He led it until 2011, gaining a reputation for Holocaust denial and enmity to Islam. In 2002 he reached the run-off of the French presidential election. His daughter Marine succeeded him as leader; she reached the runoffs in 2017. Jean-Marie was eventually expelled from the party, after refusing to attend his disciplinary hearing for having described the gas chambers as a “detail” of history. Jean-Marie’s granddaughter, Marion Maréchal, is tipped as the next leader of the party, which is now called Rassemblement National.

Catherine Fieschi is a leading expert on European politics and the French far right. She has followed the Le Pens since her PhD, for which she conducted many hours of interviews with Jean-Marie Le Pen, in the family château outside Paris. Fieschi is the Director of Counterpoint, a London-based research and advisory group that advises businesses, governments and NGOs on social and political risk. She is also a longstanding adviser to European political leaders and campaigns, the author of Populocracy, and a native speaker of French, Italian and English.

Simon Kuper is a columnist for The Financial Times.

This program, produced by Pandemonium U, is free to the public and is part of a series sponsored by the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA. Alliance Française and AATF members can register here to receive reminder messages and the Zoom link.