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The Department was created on the basis of the Department of Politics, which was established in 2005. The main purpose of the department is to provide today’s students with professional training in the fields of political analysis and sociopolitical engineering, as well as in creating a special creative atmosphere that allows for the formation and development of a society of political experts who are capable of not only carrying out professional research, but also proposing and implementing solutions to relevant Russian and international problems.
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On March 20, the 6th meeting of the HSE French Club took place. It was devoted to the quite hot topic: "Yellow Vests: France and the European Union face populist movements."
The guest of the meeting was Eric Lescar, an independent consultant and researcher, author of the book "Putin's Speech: metamorphoses and continuity". Edgar Seberger, 1st year student of the master's program "Comparative Politics of Eurasia", Director of public relations of the Union of French citizens abroad (UFE-Saint-Petersburg) and Alexey Chikhachev, PhD student of the faculty of international relations of St. Petersburg State University and expert of the Russian Council on International Affairs also expressed their views and opinions.
The meeting was also attended by the Consul General of France in St. Petersburg, Mr. Hughes de Chavagnac.
The main theses of the meeting:
· The emergence of Yellow Vests is an act of protest against the rise in gas prices in the European Union.
· The movement refers society to the pre-industrial period, focusing on the "repertoire of collective action".
· According to activists, the eradication of the will of the people and the pursuit of personal interests of the authorities creates the appearance of legitimacy of the liberal market economy. One proposed alternative is a moral economy governed by unwritten social norms. Thus, the Yellow Vests oppose the reforms of the current "president of the rich", who maintains a link between the representative government and the elites.
· It is worth noting that the yellow jackets are not systematic and do not constitute the entire organization. They are driven by anger and a sense of injustice, which forces them to challenge the authorities of their countries.
The meeting was lively, and you can even say hot discussion. French students studying in St. Petersburg asked poignant questions such as: "Was the movement of the Yellow Vests the result of discontent with the increase in prices, or it happened due to the growing social tension caused by the activities of the government? Is the movement the result of a local disturbance, or it can become a global phenomenon? ».
Thus, the meeting showed that the phenomenon of populism and the concrete example of France are pressing issues that concern the minds of students and specialists in the field of Social Sciences. We are incredibly grateful to all participants, because the main goal of the HSE French Club is to enrich the discussion on international relations on the part of Francophonie.
Photographer: Nika Rumowa