Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research and the author and editor of many books, including
Racist Visions and the Common Sense of France’s “Extreme” Right
This chapter reckons with the common sense of the French radical right in the late l990s and how those characteristics have morphed into a broader racialized common sense in Europe today. It treats that earlier moment not as a “snapshot” of another time but as a diagnostic to argue that the French extreme right has not been an aberrant or unique development, as it has sometimes been cast, but an expression of the political culture of contemporary France. It is an effort to address why the French extreme right’s policies are “easy to think” for a broad population who consider themselves neither xenophobic and racist nor politically “extreme” in any sense.