France Interview

Dear Mr President: when letters to François Hollande announced France's current social unrest

During his 2012-2017 term in office, France’s socialist president François Hollande received a total of about one million letters and emails from members of the public, several thousands of which have been studied by political sciences lecturers Michel Offerlé and Julien Fretel. In this interview, Michel Offerlé explains that while the correspondence contained a large number of individual demands for help, complaints over financial difficulties and taxes, and insults about the head of state’s disconnection with the people, they in part collectively represent the social group that has erupted into the ‘yellow vest’ protest movement over falling standards of living which is shaking the current presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

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Michel Offerlé, a professor of political sciences at French higher education establishment, the École normale supérieure, and his colleague Julien Fretel, political sciences lecturer at the Paris 1 Sorbonne University, have carried out a study of thousands of letters and emails from a total of around one million that were addressed to François Hollande during his 2012-2017 presidential term.

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