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In the aftermath of the Paris attacks on 13 November 2015, RUSI experts considered their implications for France and whether such attacks could happen in the UK.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Dr Jonathan Eyal, International Director at RUSI, argues the attacks do not represent a historic national crisis for France. While Marine le Pen's National Front party is likely to perform well in December's regional elections, there is no automatic reason to believe that French politics will head towards a fundamental populist meltdown.

More worrying is the radicalisation taking place in French prisons, where Muslims comprise 70 per cent of inmates compared to just 10 per cent of the population of France.

Still, the strategic impact of the Paris attacks should not be overestimated. The French government already has many of the powers required to defend itself, including that of national determination.

Could Paris happen in the UK?

Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at RUSI, gives three reasons why mass shooting and bomb attacks like those carried out in the French capital are less likely to happen in the UK.

It is more difficult to acquire the kinds of high-powered rifles used by the attackers in the UK than in Continental Europe, the UK has tighter control over its borders than France, and the conflict in Syria and Iraq has a greater draw for Arab communities on the Continent than in the UK.

While the UK remains in danger of attack, it faces a different kind of terrorist threat.

*Header image: A vigil for the victims of the Paris attacks in Trafalgar Square, 14 November 2015. Image courtesy of Hannah McKay / PA Wire/Press Association Images.

For more RUSI commentary, publications and multimedia on terrorism, click here.

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