Globalization, regional difference and populism: the rise of the Front National from the perspective of electoral geography

TIAN Ye1 ZHANG Qianyu

(1.School of International Studies, Renmin University of China )

【Abstract】The relative change in factor endowment leads to division among labors in France: the unskilled/semiskilled labors have policy preferences different from those of human capital. Because of the agglomeration of factors of production in different regions of France, the differentiation of these factors is reflected in the differentiation between regions, between the urban areas and suburbs, and between metropolises and small towns. The unskilled/semiskilled labors in France are increasingly difficult to find suitable jobs due to the decline of traditional manufacturing in the face of competition of similar products from developing countries. At the same time, the labor migrants from southern Europe and North Africa and refugees in recent years compete with them for jobs and welfare. Both shocks force unskilled/semiskilled labors in France to call for anti-globalization, anti-European integration and anti-immigration policies. The Front National (FN) which responds positively to them has won their political support, and thereupon performed well in several presidential elections. The “Rust Belt” in northeastern France and the Mediterranean coast has been hit most, and thus these regions have become the main supporter of the FN. In addition, the outer suburbs far from urban centers, and smaller cities, have concentrated more unskilled/semiskilled labor, so more voters in those regions have voted for the FN. The rise of the FN has not only reshaped the political party system in France but also has facilitated the spread of populism in European and even world politics.

【Keywords】 globalization; regional differentiation; populism; Front National; electoral geography;

【DOI】

【Funds】 the National Social Science Fund of China (18VZL015)

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This Article

ISSN:1006-9550

CN: 11-1343/F

Vol , No. 06, Pages 91-125+158-159

June 2019

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Article Outline

Abstract

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Existing opinions and their deficiencies
  • 3 Regional differentiation, factor endowment, and policy preference for participation in globalization
  • 4 Globalization and regional differentiation in France
  • 5 Regional differentiation and the rise of the FN in France
  • 6 Regional distribution of votes for the FN in the four presidential elections since the 21st century
  • 7 Conclusion
  • Footnote