Tuula Vaarakallio, Ph.D
Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of Jyväskylä
Against the Bavardage
Moments of French Antiparliamentary rhetoric
The main objective of the project is to study different forms of antiparliamentarism, that is the political hostility, struggle and criticism of different political forces against parliamentarism and representative forms of government. Tuula Vaarakallio examines how the antipathy to the ”government of discussion” and to vain bavardage is formulated and justified in the rhetoric of various antiparliamentary forces. The common feature in the antiparliamentary rhetoric appears to be the attitude that which is “good and right” in politics is already known, therefore rendering the parliamentary deliberation and the weighting of alternatives futile.
Vaarakallio studies the parliament as an arena of discussion in which also antiparliamentary arguments are allowed to be expressed. In so doing, she focuses primarily on primary sources, i.e. the antiparliamentary speeches and provocations made in the Parliament during specific periods of French antiparliamentarism.
The object of research is predominantly limited to the Third Republic (1870-1940), which was marked by the criticism of the parliamentary republic by both the extreme right and extreme left. In addition, Vaarakallio compares this earlier era to the relevant periods of the Fourth (1946-1958) and Fifth Republics (1958-), during which movements against the prevalent regime have played an important role.