A comparative analysis of French left and right: their approach to " the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe" and "Turkey's accession to the EU"
Tümsavaş, Ekin (2009) A comparative analysis of French left and right: their approach to " the treaty establishing a constitution for Europe" and "Turkey's accession to the EU". [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1276322 (Table of Contents)
The traditional left-right dichotomy played a crucial role in the world politics for over two centuries. Within time, the content and the scope of this dichotomy evolved; the differentiation that began with discussions on the political regime was later carried to the religious realm, and then was transformed into a dichotomy involving class conflicts. However, in line with the collapse of communism and the rise of new capitalist world order, the validity of this dichotomy has been questioned. Regarding the French case, as a result of developments in the international arena, the change in the statist structure of the French political tradition whose aim was to have state control in economics, was effective for the research of the blurring of the left-right dichotomy. While France was the birth-place of the dichotomy, at the same time it became the arena where this dichotomy has began to be questioned when the left and the right parties determining the political agenda began to converge to the centre. The positions and the changes experienced by the French Socialist Party and the Union for a Popular Movement as the two closest candidates to rule France gives important clues on the blurring of the left-right dichotomy. When the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe and Turkey’s accession into the EU processes are evaluated, it is seen that the two leading parties in France were on the same side. These parties, while taking their positions on these two issues, rather than evaluating the situation at the European level, handled it in terms of its impact on the national level politics. These two parties’ attitudes of disassociating Turkey’s accession into the EU from the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe all throughout the Constitutional Treaty referendum process was based on the understanding that the subject of Turkey should not harm the political positions they had adopted. At this point the aim was not to disturb the French electorate and not to decrease these parties’ voting shares, and thus in this issue pragmatism and actions to save the day were effective. For that matter, it will not be correct to speak of a certain left-right dichotomy. As a result, the left-right dichotomy is not kept alive by the two leading parties in the centre but by the parties radicalized in the political system, thereby the traditional left-right dichotomy left the scene to the centre-periphery dichotomy.
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