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Bombs, Bullets, and Politicians: France’s Response to Terrorism

In the weeks following the 9/11 attacks, the American nation and its representatives rallied around their leader, the diversity of opinions and the role of political opposition seemed suddenly less vital. A similar unity materialized in the aftermath of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, as millions marched across Paris and the “Marseillaise” resonated throughout France.rnrnEmphasizing France’s distinctive struggle against terrorism between 1980 and 2016, Bombs, Bullets, and Politicians presents a comparative analysis of how political elites react to terrorist attacks in five western democratic states. Demonstrating that the magnitude and frequency of terrorist acts determines whether political elites rally around the flag or rail against the government, Christophe Chowanietz formulates hypotheses on the likely impact of various patterns of terrorist actions. Shedding light on the difference in reactions between mainstream, radical, right-wing, and left-wing parties, Chowanietz argues that terrorism never fails to disrupt the political game.

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