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Deconstructing Voting Behaviour – Didier Eribon

At Room for Discussion we will engage in a discussion about voting behaviour, populism and the future of the left. Why do people vote in the first place? And which factors determine whether someone votes to further their own self interest or in line with their idea of an ideal society?
The last decade has seen populist parties on the rise all across Europe and their success does not seem to come to a hold. How can we explain the support that this movement seems to gain across different social strata? What are the factors fuelling the populist outcry amongst the population?
During the 20th century there was a clear cut distinction between parties on the left and on the right of the political spectrum. Further, there was a clear voter base of the left – namely the working classes. Since we see this notion of the traditional working class fade away, how can people at the lower ends of our economies unite and fight for their rights in a globalised economy? And how can the parties that we consider “left-wing” today reconstruct a coherent narrative and gain back political support?
These and more questions will be discussed at Room for Discussion on Thursday, March 22nd!
Our guest will be Didier Eribon, a renowned French author and philosopher and Professor of Sociology at the University of Amiens. He is well known for his biography of Michel Foucault, which has been praised as “the best biography of Foucault” by Le Monde. Further, he has written numerous other books such as Insult and the Making of the Gay Self. His latest work, Returning to Reims (which became a bestseller in Germany and has just been translated into Dutch) assesses how class, sexual identities and one’s social environment influence people’s voting behaviour. The book is a sociological study of the the working classes analysing their voting patterns (from voting for Communist Parties to the Nationalist Parties, e.g. the Front National).

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