Why the French presidential candidates are arguing about their colonial history
Jennifer Sessions, "Why the French presidential candidates are arguing about their colonial history", The Conversation, 19 April 2017 [online]
Seen on April 19th, 2017, URL : https://theconversation.com/why-the-french-presidential-candidates-are-arguing-about-their-colonial-history-75372
When the French presidential elections begin on April 23, the world will be watching closely.
Polls are tightening up, but Marine Le Pen, of the far-right National Front (FN) Party, seems likely to get through to the second, runoff ballot on May 10. Will the xenophobic populism that brought Brexit to the U.K. and Donald Trump to the White House claim the Elysée Palace, too?
Le Pen’s expected advance has been one of the few constants in a campaign marked by surprising, dispiriting twists. To a historian of French colonialism like me, one of the most revealing is the renewed debate over the memory and teaching of the colonial past. The candidates’ positions on this issue can be seen as a revealing barometer of French attitudes toward immigration, race and multiculturalism today.