By Daniel Stockemer
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Additional info for The Front National in France: Continuity and Change Under Jean-Marie Le Pen and Marine Le Pen
2 The FN’s Ideology Under Marine Le Pen Since Marine Le Pen took the party’s reins in 2011, the FN has published only one programme: its 2012 presidential platform. Probably aiming to keep its platform clear and simple, the party did not publish any policy briefs after 2010. The 2012 electoral platform reintroduces many of the themes in Jean-Marie Le Pen’s presidential project. For immigration, anti-Europeanism, welfare chauvinism, public security, and national identity, the FN suggests the same solutions as it did in 2007.
The segment of the population that suffers the most from the economic crisis in France, workers and lower- and lower-middle-class people, are at the centre of the FN programme and rhetoric. Consistent with the notion of populism, the FN brands itself as an anti-party (see Taggart 1995; Hainsworth 2000, 2008; Hooghe et al. 2002; Kriesi et al. 2008). It opposes the political, social, and economic system and all actors that represent France’s Fifth Republic; it opposes economic and cultural globalization, Europeanization, the notion of European identity, multiculturalism, the mainstream political parties, and social, cultural, and academic elites.
34 See also De´clair (1999: 127) for an earlier description of how the FN links immigration to abuse of the social system. 3 Immigration and National Identity The FN under Jean-Marie Le Pen was also very strong on both inciting fears about globalization and Europeanization and capitalizing on these concerns. 35 In its programme, it cited statistics on declining numbers of theatre audiences, visitors to national monuments, and moviegoers in order to create an image of cultural decline. Descriptions of the “deplorable conditions” of French monuments and the vulnerability of France’s undefended musical heritage reinforced this image of decay (Le Front National 2007: 37–39).