Seminar of young scientists and post-graduate students of IMEMO and Institute of Latin America Studies RAS

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A joint seminar organized by the Councils of Young Scientists of IMEMO and ILA RAS was held on December 3, 2019, at the Institute of Latin America (ILA) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Pavel Timofeev, senior researcher, Cand.Sc (Politics) and chairman of the Council of Young Scientists of IMEMO, presented the report “Protests of the “yellow vests” in France: the results of the first year”.

The report examined the causes of the phenomenon of “yellow vests”, the main demands of the protesters, the social base of the movement, the level of socio-political support of the protesters, the impact of protests on the politics and economy of France, problems and preliminary results of the movement. The speaker noted that the protest of the "yellow vests" was caused by painful reforms of the socio-economic model of France, as well as by public request for social justice in the face of a lack in confidence in the authorities during the party crisis. Despite significant public support, protesters who represented the lower middle class were not able to achieve all their goals because of the poor structure of the movement, the absence of any strategy, and partial discredit as a result of violent acts. Effective actions by the French authorities combining police measures with inviting protesters to a dialogue as part of the “Great Debate” also played a role. Statistics showed that after six months of protests and following the elections to the European Parliament, the number of protesters fell from several hundred thousand to less than 10 thousand people. Nevertheless, the reasons of the protest did not disappear, and the French authorities still face the difficult task of combining the reform of the socio-economic model with preserving the foundation of the “social state”. Therefore, the protest potential that spilled over into the “yellow vests” movement is capable of flare up again.

After the talk, a discussion took place. The speaker’s colleagues from IMEMO – junior research fellows Maria Khorolskaya and Sergey Rastoltsev as well as copy editor Alla Korotkova participated in the event.

The seminar continued the tradition of cross meetings established by the Councils of Young Scientists of IMEMO and ILA RAS in 2017.


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