Congratulations to Professor Jack Veugelers for winning the ASA’s Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award!

Professor Jack Veugelers’ new book recently received this year’s ASA Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award in the Political Sociology section. The book is titled “Empire’s Legacy: Roots of a Far-Right Affinity in Contemporary France.” Professor Jack Veugelers is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on right-wing extremism and the politics of immigration in Canada and Europe (especially France and Italy). We’ve included the abstract of the book below from his publisher, Oxford Scholarship Online:

“Building on the idea of latent political potential, this book offers an alternative interpretation of the contemporary far right. Its main thesis is that relations between colonizers and colonized implanted a legacy that, under certain conditions, translated into support for the far right in France. To make this argument, the book offers a model for the study of political potentials that combines a situational approach to identity relations, a networks approach to subcultural practice, and a historical approach to political opportunity. The early part of this book traces the origins and development of this potential among the European settlers of French Algeria. The middle part examines its transmission via voluntary associations and its channeling into mainstream parties. The latter part examines the conditions under which this potential redirected into the far right. Starting with colonial Algeria, after independence in 1962 the book moves between politics at three levels: France, the southeast region, and Toulon (which in 1995 became the largest city in postwar Europe to elect a far-right administration). Complementing economic explanations for nativism, this book argues that our understanding of modernity errs when it disregards the potency of anachronistic remnants.”

 

Empire’s Legacy: New Book by Professor Jack Veugelers

Professor John W.P. Veugelers’ newly published book, Empire’s Legacy: Roots of a Far-Right Affinity in Contemporary France, analyzes the local politics and historical context to explain the emergence of far-right support for the National Front in Toulon. Veugelers examines the extent of far-right power at the local level and how the government can pose barriers to extremist success. Veugelers innovatively explores contemporary politics through a subcultural approach that connects social networks to symbolic codes.

Jack Veugelers is an Associate Professor Sociology at the University of Toronto with teaching responsibilities at the St. George campus. His research interests include right-wing extremism and the politics of immigration in Canada and Europe (especially France and Italy).

The book’s publisher, Oxford University Press, includes the following synopsis on their website:

Many argue that globalization and its discontents explain the strength of populism and nativism in contemporary Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In France, though, an older potential born of imperialism has propelled the far right of Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen.

To explain how the National Front gained a foothold in France,¬†Empire’s Legacy¬†connects local politics with historical developments that span nearly two centuries. Its analysis hinges on the idea of political potential: the possibility that a social group will support a movement, pressure group, political party, or other organized option. Starting from the French conquest of Algeria, John W.P Veugelers follows the career of a potential, showing how it erupted into support for the National Front in Toulon, the largest city under the far right of any postwar European democracy.

Relying on archival research, electoral surveys, and personal interviews, Veugelers shows that voluntary associations, interest-group politics, and patron-client relations knit together a far-right affinity bequeathed by French imperialism. Veugelers examines the possibilities and limits of far-right power at the local level, moreover, and the barriers that effective, scandal-free government pose to extremist success.

Exploring new terrain in the study of contemporary politics,¬†Empire’s Legacy makes the case for a subcultural approach that connects social networks to symbolic codes.