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Political Power Relations in France and Germany Ahead of the European Elections

Guest Lecture by Renowned French Sociologist Pascal Perrineau on January 15, 2014, at Otto Suhr Institute, Freie Universität Berlin

№ 002/2014 from Jan 05, 2014

On January 15, 2014, in a public lecture at Freie Universität Berlin, the highly regarded sociologist Pascal Perrineau will analyze the political balance of power in France and Germany before the European elections. Perrineau, a professor and director of the Centre de Recherches Politiques (CEVIPOF) at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris, will draw particular attention to the development in France, where according to polls, the extreme right Front National could become the strongest political force in the country. An alliance between the Front National and the right-wing populist Freedom Party in the Netherlands announced ahead of the European elections is an indication of the dangers of a resurgence in anti-European right-wing movements in Europe. Perrineau’s lecture is the first in a series of events to be held between now and October 2014 in Berlin, Paris, and Brussels marking the 30th anniversary of partnership between Sciences Po and Freie Universität. The lecture will be given in French with simultaneous translation into German. It will be followed by a discussion, also with simultaneous translation between German and French. The event is open to the public, and admission is free.

The year 2014 is the year of commemoration of the beginning of World War I, when nationalism in Europe peaked and revealed its destructive power. The European elections being held in this year of commemoration of the "seminal catastrophe of the 20th century" (George F. Kennan) constitute a great challenge in light of the crisis of the European Union and the resurgence of nationalist tendencies in some European countries. Will widespread frustration over European policy be reflected in the European elections? Will there be an upswing for the nationalist parties? Or will democratic forces be able to give new strength to the idea of European unity, which became a reality in response to the disasters of the 20th century? In his presentation Pascal Perrineau will discuss these and other key issues for the development of political power in advance of the European elections.

Pascal Perrineau, born in 1950, is a specialist in the analysis of political attitudes and behavior and the development of political parties and power relations, in particular with regard to the right-wing parties and movements in France and in Europe.

Time and Location

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 6–8 p.m.; the lecture will be given in French with simultaneous translation to German.
  • Henry Ford Building, Freie Universität Berlin (Lecture Halll B), Garystr. 35, 14195 Berlin; subway: Thielplatz (U3)

Further Information

Dr. Sabine von Oppeln, Senior Researcher, Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-55 016, Email: or, Homepage: