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A new form of anti-government resentment? Making sense of mass support for the Yellow-Vest Movement in France

Abstract : Anti-elite and anti-political resentment have become a permanent feature of political life in many if not most contemporary democracies, leading to support for populist parties, systematic anti-incumbent voting, and new types of movements, such as the Yellow Vests protests that shook France in 2018–2020. The aim of this paper is to explain the unusual popular support they mobilized. Going beyond the somewhat tautological “populist” label attached to the movement this paper proposes a class-based explanation. Using original data from a survey run after the European Elections of 2019, it shows that social precarity, combined with a lower /working class position, is the main driver of affinity with the YV. The movement is disproportionately supported by the most insecure segments of production workers (mostly men) and service workers (mostly women), giving an identity to those who feel excluded and not represented by mainstream parties and unions. This disaffected “precariat” can be seen as a magnifying glass of the crisis of political representation affecting most Western democracies. A reservoir of discontent that is here to stay and that the economic and political impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could revive.
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https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03859372
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Submitted on : Friday, November 18, 2022 - 11:04:33 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, November 19, 2022 - 3:19:43 AM

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Emiliano Grossman, Nonna Mayer. A new form of anti-government resentment? Making sense of mass support for the Yellow-Vest Movement in France. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 2022, pp.1-23. ⟨10.1080/17457289.2022.2142596⟩. ⟨hal-03859372⟩

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