The meritocratic division: a restructuration of cleavages in the West? - Insight from the Yellow Vests movement.
Meritokratické dělení: restrukturalizace štěpných linií na Západě? Případ hnutí Žlutých hvězd.
diploma thesis (DEFENDED)
Study Information System: 237472
- Kvalifikační práce 
Faculty / Institute
Faculty of Social Sciences
European Politics and Society: Vaclav Havel Joint Master Programme
Department of European Studies
Date of defense
30. 9. 2021
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Fakulta sociálních věd
Keywords (English)merit, meritocracy, cognitive cleavage, Emmanuel Macron, Yellow Vests
The attempts to understand discontent and populist surges in the West, especially in recent years, led to an abundance of research, comments, and speculations. Some thinkers asserted that such events are the symptoms of a cleavage restructuration in liberal democratic societies that would be centered around the question of merit. Research generally links higher education and general success in life to satisfaction and relative support of the established order. On the contrary, lesser educated and successful individuals tend to question this state of affairs. A cleavage revolving around success and education would consequently replace previous divisions, such as the usual right-left opposition, but also come on top of other schisms, mainly spatial ones. This thesis offers to verify the existence of such a cleavage with a case study of the Yellow Vests movement, in France. Analyzing the discourse of the representants of the meritocracy, Emmanuel Macron and his government, it finds trends that support the existence of such an underlying conflict.