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Mandatory Fields
Dine, P
Contemporary French And Francophone Studies
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Sarkozy Sport Politics France Fifth Republic Presidency
Although not the most objectively important sphere in which Nicolas Sarkozy has sought to exert influence, sport has been taken very seriously by the President. His personal investment in the national sporting project reflects a broader reluctance to delegate governmental decision-making, which has been particularly marked in the case of the responsible ministry. Nor is Sarkozy the first head of the Fifth Republic to have sought to enhance his prestige through the appropriation of sporting champions and iconic events-a presidential tradition which leads directly back to de Gaulle himself. After a brief overview of that political background, this article considers Sarkozy's distinctive approach to sporting manifestations of France and Frenchness, suggesting that his variety of executive activism over the period 2007 to 2012 has been a high-risk political strategy, which has permitted sharply contrasting readings of the president as a sportsman, a supporter, and a sports administrator by proxy.
DOI 10.1080/17409292.2012.675670
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