Continuing with the overall theme of the resources on this site, here’s a “classroom ready” handout on the recent French Presidential Elections. Now, I’m obviously aware that case studies like this will quickly become obsolete, but what I’m keen to focus on is the need to try and equip students with materials that touch on multiple ‘stands’ of our course (like the Indian Farmer Protests, which luckily – from the perspective of the students, not the farmers!- is still ongoing). To that end, the first page of the handout is an attempt to link the topic to 8-9 different areas on the course where even a brief reference to the data that students can gather around the outcome of the election could be applied.
I’ll include a pdf and MS Word version so that you can tinker with it to make it useful for your own students in their particular context…
Maybe it’ll be useful as an “alternative/comparative” perspective paragraph in an essay on “Selecting an Executive”, maybe a brief reference to “Les Gillets Jaune” will link in with protest movements and ‘consent of the governed’, maybe the impact of globalization on French de-industrialization that has left many former blue-collar workers disillusioned with neoliberalism with be used as evidence in a “Globalization and Localization” essay for Thomas Hylland Eriksen or a brief link to Kathleen Lynch, maybe it’ll just be a single line in an essay on French identity and the impact of migration….
But for all those different areas, they’ll still need to have well-sourced content that they can evaluate and engage with. And in all cases, some hard and fast data can only strengthen their responses.
A final exercise that you might enjoy doing, but which I haven’t included on the handout would be attempting to ask the students how they think each of the 17 Key Thinkers would have responded to the result of the elections (rounds 1 and 2). I’d say Marx would be pretty disappointed that Jean-Luc Mélenchon didn’t make it to the run off!!!!
I hope you find the resource useful and that it might spark students into a broader engagement with some of the sub-headings in the multiple strands of the course.
Best of luck with the run in to the exams – Remember, anyone can hang on for four and a half weeks!