Jérôme Fourquet: “The health threat, added to climate change, insecurity and terrorism, has led to a withdrawal into the private sphere”


Between the two rounds of the presidential election, in April 2022, in Eguisheim (Haut-Rhin).

Jérôme Fourquet has headed the Opinion and Business Strategies department of the IFOP polling institute since 2011. This political scientist has published several books including “L’Archipel français. Birth of a multiple and divided nation” (Seuil, 2019) and “In immersion. Investigation of a confined society”, with Marie Gariazzo (Seuil, 2020). Co-author with Jean-Laurent Cassely in 2021 of “France under our eyes. Economy, landscapes, new ways of life”, (Seuil), he notes that social inequalities, insecurity and immigration remain, among the French, concerns which are at the heart of the crisis of representation.

This article is taken from: “How is France”: an inventory of the country in 40 maps

You set out the concept of “archipelization” of France in 2019. In your opinion, how does this idea evolve after the Covid crisis and the 2022 elections?

Of course, things have changed. The Covid has been there. In addition, the electoral sequence recorded the continuation of the phenomenon of decomposition-recomposition of political life. The electoral landscape is not completely stabilized, with three blocks: the Macronist central block, a left block under Melenchonist domination and an extreme right block with a strong Lepenist dominance. Added to this are the Republicans and a few other forces, but for me this decomposition-recomposition is not over, and it will reinforce the dysfunctional nature of the electoral landscape. We see it in the National Assembly, whose composition constitutes a consequence and an illustration of the archipelization of French society. The major social groups having disintegrated and recomposed, the electoral landscape then took on new forms.

By using the metaphor of the archipelago, we were referring to the geographical definition of this term, namely that there is a common geological base and strong interconnections between the islands of the archipelago, which may have interests, values or common functions. Among these elements, we obviously think of the public power, very strong in France, with five million civil servants, 57% of the national wealth which goes to public spending and a model of social redistribution almost without equal.

It should be noted in passing that, like other countries, we have suffered the Covid-19 crisis and that we have observed, if we rely on the Gini index, that it is in France that the widening of inequalities has been the weakest. And if we stay on the social model, a subject still federates a good number of the islands of the archipelago: it is our pension system, with the massive rejection of the reform of the government, which brings together at least two thirds of the French . The country is therefore fragmented, but certain themes still bring together a large majority.

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