VariaBy Willy Beauvallet, Sébastien Michon
The article proposes an analysis of crises in the Front national, the French extreme right party. From the perspective of political sociology and a historical study of all members of parliament elected under the party’s label, the article investigates and offers explanations for the divisions in the party, which are not restricted to ideological differences. Divisions also depend on the articulation between the state of political competition and the system of positions it creates. The Front national is a product of the acceleration of political professionalization mechanisms since the 1970s. This process is based on the principle of differentiated trajectories among its ruling elites. Two dimensions are particularly influential on the party’s internal competitions and conflicts: the time spent in politics and the structure of political capital.