Referendum by Riot

In a New Atlanticist essay, “Sarkozy Delays University Reforms, Feared Greek-Style Riots,” I wonder if France isn’t setting itself up for a vicious cycle by acceding to student protests:

It’s perfectly legitimate for shopkeepers to lobby to be spared reforms that would hurt their business, even if it’s good for France.  Rent seeking is a fact of modern political life.  Not so subtle threats of violence, on the other hand, are beyond the pale.   Giving in to them, while perhaps prudent in the short term, will do nothing to discourage the tactic from becoming routine.

Your thoughts welcome, especially at the original post.

FILED UNDER: Europe, World Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bootlegger says:

    Sometimes its nice to know our youth are so apathetic. Maybe Sarkozy should just give ’em all a Wii and some good drugs.