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World Policy Newsletter, Week of May 12th

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France’s Presidential Election

The election of Emmanuel Macron has launched France into uncharted territory. World Policy Institute fellow Monique El-Faizy outlines the challenges ahead for France’s first outsider president, whose year-old party will need a strong showing in next month’s legislative elections in order to implement the agenda he campaigned on.

The presidential election saw a sound defeat for France’s traditional political parties, neither of which made it past the first round of voting. In the latest episode of World Policy On Air, we talk with Paris-based writer Cole Stangler, who expands on his article in the spring issue of World Policy Journal, “The Left Restored is Mightier Than Le Pen.” He discusses the future of the French politics on both the left and the right.

Ahead of the final round of voting, World Policy Journal spoke with political scientist Sheri Berman about how the French election fits into broader trends in European politics—and about the disturbing movement toward political extremes across the continent, even with a presumed electoral victory of the more moderate Macron.

Under the leadership of Marine Le Pen, the National Front has spent the past several years trying to become a respected political organization. Back in 2011, Le Pen visited the U.S. to campaign for the 2012 presidential election and raise her international profile. But, as Pauline Moullot reported, only five French citizens showed up at a poorly executed New York event.

Then, in January 2016, as part of a WPI series on dangerous speech, Moullot discussed how Le Pen’s removal of openly xenophobic language from the National Front’s platform was designed to make supporting the far-right party and its racist policies more publicly acceptable—a shift into the mainstream that helped yield the party’s highest-ever turnout in this month’s vote.

Fellow Updates

Alon Ben-Meir speaks with Daniel Bar-Tal of the Save Israel—Stop the Occupation Movement in two recent episodes of his podcast, On the Issues. He has also released an audio version of his article, “Israeli and Palestinian Women Must Raise the Banner of Revolt.”

Jonathan Cristol discusses Trump’s attitude toward Kim Jong Un in the World Policy blog, and argues in CNN that negotiating with the North Korean leader is not an option, despite the newly elected South Korean president’s softer line toward the North. Cristol also appeared on i24 English to discuss Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Lissa Weinmann continues her investigations into U.S. nuclear power and the buildup of nuclear waste ahead of a renewed debate on the matter in Congress in The Brattleboro Reformer.

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[Photo courtesy of Marie-Lan Nguyen]

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