Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Ana Velitchkova

Second Advisor

Emily Lord Fransee

Third Advisor

Miguel Centellas

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Marine Le Pen remains popular within national French politics. However, following the June 2021 French regional elections, her far-right party, Rassemblement National (RN), failed to win a single region. This thesis seeks to explore the factors behind the RN’s surprising lack of success through a comparative historical approach. This thesis also evaluates the applicability of the second-order model on these elections. Two regions, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (ARA) and Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur (PACA) serve as case studies for this research based upon their diverse electoral results. Regional newspaper articles, national newspaper articles, and candidates’ social media posts from the election cycles serve as the data for this thesis. The results demonstrate that candidates in the PACA region featured similar campaign strategies but had differently sized media scopes. Candidates in the ARA regions had very different candidate strategies, one candidate focused on campaign issues while the other relied on party imagery. The newspapers reveal a variety of structural and national factors, including abstention, appeals to national candidates, etc. This thesis upholds that the second-order model somewhat applied to the 2021 French regional election, but also upholds the principle that elections are multifaced events with many causalities. This thesis provides important election analyses as the 2022 French presidential elections rest on the near horizon.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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