Arthur Goldhammer

A blog about contemporary French politics by an American observer based at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies


13 July 2024 |

Blocages is too mild a word for the paralysis that has gripped the French political class since last Sunday’s election. It’s not just the tripartite division of the National Assembly that […]



10 July 2024 |

Yesterday was a day full of revelations. First, we learned that Jordan Bardella, deprived of the chance to become France’s next prime minister, will instead become the president of Patriots […]


The Morning After

1 July 2024 |

It’s the morning after the election, but the dust has only partially settled. Even with the rapid désistements of candidates willing to abide by traditional “republican discipline,” the ultimate outcome is not […]



16 June 2024 |

President Macron’s professed purpose in dissolving the National Assembly was to achieve a “clarification” of the political picture in France. People had supposedly become confused about what they were supporting. […]


What now?

15 April 2023 |

Contrary to my (low-confidence) expectations, the Conseil Constitutionnel approved the reform bill with only minor changes (removing sweeteners that had been added to mollify the opposition in full knowledge that […]


Chip War

Occasionally I write about matters other than French politics, so I’m taking the liberty of posting this recent review here. It discusses Chris Miller’s excellent book Chip War, and though […]


Strategic Decorum

15 February 2023 |

Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National has stormed the French National Assembly with a politeness offensive, adopting unaccustomed decorum as a strategic weapon. Meanwhile, La France Insoumise, true to its moniker, […]


A Fatal Turn

11 December 2022 |

Les Républicains have chosen their new leader: Eric Ciotti. After Valérie Pécresse’s flameout in the presidential election, the choice was no doubt inevitable. It is nevertheless dismaying to have the […]


Borne Again

17 May 2022 |

I’ve been on an island with poor Internet since last Friday, so I’ve had to catch up on all the hot takes about Emmanuel Macron’s nomination of Elisabeth Borne to […]



25 April 2022 |

Here’s my article on the election results in The New Republic. Here are a few additional thoughts. The republican front, said to have collapsed, still exists and remains fairly robust. […]


Hope Springs Eternal

20 April 2022 |

Jean-Luc Mélenchon is calling on voters to elect him prime minister by filling the National Assembly with Unbowed deputies. Marion Maréchal, Guillaume Peltier, and Nicolas Bay–all ex-Le Penist turncoats–are calling […]