France's electoral systems with Emiliano Grossman


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The two-round presidential elections in France back in April created lots of discussions in the media and widespread concerns that a right-wing candidate, Marine Le Pen, would rise to power. Yet, Emmanuel Macron prevailed in the second round with 58% of the vote. Very soon, on June 12th and 19th, voters in France are going to the polls to elect the 577 members of the National Assembly.

With Emiliano Grossman I discuss the electoral systems used in the French democracy, both for the presidential and legislative elections. We dive into the historical roots of the Fifth Republic that introduced many of these institutions in 1958 and how they evolved over time. Emiliano explains how they affect representation, the political party landscape and parties’ strategies to win votes. It was an instructive and insightful conversation in which Emiliano shares his opinions based on 20 years of political research.

Emiliano Grossman is an Associate Professor at Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparée at Sciences Po, in Paris since 2012. He got his PhD from Sciences Po, and completed his habilitation from Sciences Po Grenoble in 2014. He has published numerous articles in top academic journals on comparative political institutions and agenda-setting processes. His latest book is titled “Do Elections (Still) Matter? Mandates, Institutions, and Policies in Western Europe” (Oxford University Press).

Show notes with a full transcript and links to all material discussed:

Schedule: 0:00 Introduction / 3:07 Personal questions / 4:12 main discussion / 47:13 Recommendations by Emiliano Grossman

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Please enjoy this wide ranging conversation with Emiliano Grossman.

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