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Abstract

The following essay provides an in-depth analysis of the consecutive victories of the Socialist Party in Paris elections in 2001 and 2008. Socialist Bertrand Delanoë has served as mayor of Paris since 2001. This remarkable victory signaled a substantial change in the modern political history of Paris, for Delanoë took over the position after 24 years of domination by the political right. As the right became mired in allegations of corruption and in party divisions in 2001, Delanoë capitalized to push forth with a social and environmental platform characteristic of the left that proved to appeal to modern Parisian voters. In 2008, he was re-elected on a similar platform, further cementing the Socialist Party’s footprint in the city of Paris. Since Delanoë has been in office, Paris has witnessed the Vélib bike-sharing system, the construction of public housing in the city center, and new traffic regulations to ameliorate pollution levels and thus the quality of life in Paris. Investigating why and how the Socialist Party managed to come into office and remain in the Paris mayorship to further promote such arguably revolutionary policies is therefore of utmost importance to the present and future of the city of Paris.

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