This chapter examines the FN in the current French party system. It looks at the extent to which ‘dedemonization’ has changed the party’s strategic and programmatic profile. We ask whether these changes have affected the status of the party across three main aspects as political outsider, niche and radical party, and consider the internal and external stimuli for party modernization. We conclude that, despite the moderation of its rhetoric and the softer packaging of its policies, the FN has not yet shed its populist radical right profile, and that de-demonization is primarily a vote-maximizing strategy. De-demonization is increasingly putting the cordon sanitaire under pressure however, creating new competitive opportunities for the FN.
Seminar “Up to the mainstream? Radical right parties in Western Europe. 2000-2013” University of Amsterdam, 19-20 June 2014, https://hal.inria.fr/file/index/docid/1059581/filename/Paper_Ivaldi_FN_Seminar_Up_to_Mainstream_2014.pdf