In seven months, the war in Ukraine seems to have changed the relationship of the French not only to international threats, but also to Europe. An unprecedented phenomenon for several years, the place of Europe in the hearts of the French has strengthened and support for the actions undertaken against Russia dominates. Over the months, what is at stake is not so much the condemnation of the violation of a large number of principles of international law as the challenge to liberal democracies.
These attacks against the Western political system create an anxiety-provoking climate among nearly nine out of ten French people. A unanimity that largely transcends ideological, economic and social positions. However, there is a nuance between those who say they live in a dangerous world (35%) and those who share ” instead ” this perspective (54%). This nuance is important because it clearly distinguishes the sympathizers of the National Rally (RN) and Reconquest! supporters of Emmanuel Macron, who are half as likely to perceive the world as ” dangerous “.
A second sociological divide completes this portrait: people who position themselves at the top of a social ladder as “privileged classes” are 26% to consider the international environment as dangerous, against 37% for “disadvantaged classes”. This result highlights the social effects of an unstable geopolitical context where the most privileged citizens are also those who can benefit from personal resources, individual or collective protections to face and reduce the impact of such threats.
The feeling of danger is not only maintained by geopolitical risks. It is also fueled by environmental disasters or the risk of a pandemic. But it is the occurrence of a world war in the coming months that worries a majority of French people (64%). Among them, 16% consider it with certainty, in particular those under 35 (20%), practicing Catholics (26%), those most interested in politics (26%), those who position themselves very on the right (26%) and the most disadvantaged social classes (30%).
Unity is strength
The survey also shows that while the French can be very divided on internal fault lines in the country, they are surprisingly less polarized on the geopolitical issue and on the merits of belonging to the European Union (EU ). There is little doubt that the Ukrainian conflict has no equivalent, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, in terms of the reconfiguration of global alliances. And as indicated by the “theory of alliances” which seemed obsolete a few years ago, interstate alliances are all the more justified when the states are aligned on the same political, economic and ideological positions.
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