The May 7 election in France has been portrayed in the North American press as an overwhelming victory against the rise of populism. But a victory of what
exactly? That is the important question at this juncture in the history of the Fifth Republic. Macron’s rise was made possible by the collapse of all the major parties and the failures of social movements and unions to change much of anything in French economic and political life. What are the chances of new parties and movements forming? Is it finally time for a Sixth Republic – and if so, what might it look like? Mark Lilla, Professor of Humanities at Columbia University, has written extensively on French politics and philosophy, notably in the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, Le Monde, and Le Débat.