Thinking about the production of distance from politics, approached through analysis of relations between local power and the working classes in rural settings

Special report. Local power and the working classes in rural settings
By Ivan Bruneau, Maeva Durand, Julian Mischi

Although the peripheral spaces of the political field are often invested in by actors with lower social positions and lesser political professionalization, there are nonetheless logics of political exclusion at work in rural areas. They take distinctive forms, however, and the contributions to this special issue explore them by analyzing relations between local power and the working classes in settings where, unlike major cities, elected officials and residents are usually caught up in logics of mutual acquaintanceship, and where relations of domination regularly take personalized forms. Exploring the political domination exercised over the working classes in villages and towns involves wondering if this marginalization is an issue on the local scene, and seeking to explain what makes it possible. Beyond simply observing the political relegation of the working classes, our approach aims to objectivize its mechanisms, on the side of the dominated groups as well as on the side of those vested with local authority. This introduction provides a broader discussion of the utility of thinking about the localized production of political distance according to the characteristics of the configurations where it takes shape.

  • local power
  • working class
  • rural areas
  • elected officials
  • political domination
  • distance from politics
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