- VYDÁNO 30.6.2016
- ROČNÍK 2016
- ISSN PRINT 1211-3247
- ISSN ONLINE 1805-9503
University of Florence, Italy
The difficulties of defining the essence of populism and of circumscribing the range of application of this concept have determined a long-lasting controversy in the academic field. Among the main subjects under discussion, one question has arisen most frequently: can populism be considered as an ideology (a ‘thin’ ideology, in Freeden’s sense) or must it be reduced to a political style which can be attached to any ideological background? Referring to the notion elaborated by Juan Linz in order to distinguish authoritarianism from totalitarianism, and on the basis of the empirical evidence, we suggest that populism must be seen neither as an ideology nor only as a style, but as a mentality, connected to a vision of the social order that is based on a belief in the innate virtues of the people, whose primacy is claimed as the source of legitimacy for the government.
Populism; ideology; political theory; democracy.
The Radical Right and Religious Discourse. The Golden Dawn, the Lega Nord and the Sweden Democrats ComparedMaria Grazia Martino, Konstantinos Papastathis
Maria Grazia Martino
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Université du Luxembourg, Luxembourg
e-mail: konstantinos. firstname.lastname@example.org
The paper investigates whether there is a link between the main radical right-wing parties in Greece, Italy and Sweden and the pre-dominant church institutions within these countries. The focus lies on the interaction between the party’s ideology and the church‘s political discourse. We distinguish between the ‘internal supply side’ (the party’s discourse on the religious agenda), the ‘external supply side’ (the Church’s current discourse), and the ‘demand side’ (the Church’s traditional discourse). The research aim is to determine whether religious voters (who are formal church members, who believe and who practice regularly) might constitute a potential electorate for radical right-wing parties. This assumption builds on the ‘pathological normalcy’ thesis that radical right-wing parties promote an extreme version of the mainstream values in society (Mudde 2010). The method for elaborating the official church and party documents is based on the theorization of the so-called Essex school of dis- course analysis. The findings of the paper are that the religious electorate is a potential pool for the radical right party family to the extent that the internal supply side and the external supply side overlap. This applies to the largest extent in Greece, to a medium extent in Italy and to a low extent in Sweden.
Radical right; Golden Dawn; Lega Nord; Sweden Democrats; Church; discourse analysis.
American University in Bulgaria, Bulgaria
This article offers a new theoretical approach to populism that allows for a better understanding of the rise of populism in Eastern Europe and its appearance from across the political spectrum. It argues that populism is a political strategy utilized by personalist parties to reduce the transaction costs of politics by increasing the use of informal political institutions, which have an association with direct and immediate action, and decreasing the use of formal political institutions, which have connotations of slow or non-action. This approach allows for better understanding of voter behavior and voter support for populist parties and introduces a dynamics-based component which helps understand the rise and evolution of populist parties and changes in their voter support, further linking them to changes in the political and economic context. Moreover, highlighting the strategic aspect of populist political behavior, this approach allows for examining the effects of populism on institutions (the transaction cost framework constituting the core of institutional economics), business, and the functioning of democracy. The Bulgarian case is used to illustrate and substantiate this theoretical proposition and to stipulate the effect of populist movements and parties on democracy.
Populism; personalist parties; transaction cost; Bulgaria.
Vlastimil Havlík, Martin Mejstřík
Ljupcho Petkovski, Dimitar Nikolovski
Macedonian Centre for European Training, Macedonia
Institute for Advanced Studies in Koszeg, Hungary
Since 2009, Macedonia has experienced the two largest waves of progressive civic activism in post-socialist times. In the 2009–2012 period, smaller groups of citizens rallied around issues as different as protection of public spaces, police brutality, rising prices of electricity, etc. Yet, it was not before the larger student mobilizations took place in 2014 that the social space significantly opened up with a number of social groups protesting the increasingly authoritarian rule of the illiberal incumbents. In this paper, we investigate and compare the discursive strategies of the social movements (SM) in the two periods, especially the shift from ‘anti-populist rhetorical trap’ from the first period to the broader appeals for solidarity and a construction of equivalences which characterized the second period. In so doing, we hypothesize and demonstrate that the relative success in the second period can be accounted for in terms of the more inclusive discourse which helped SM avoid the ‘anti-populist trap’, thus challenging illiberal populism with progressive and (formally) populist discourse. Theoretically, the analysis goes back and forth between two approaches to studying populism: the dominant theory which sees populism as democratic illiberalism and Laclau’s theory of hegemony that sees populism as a formal political logic with no predetermined ideological content.
Macedonia; populism; social movements; anti-populist rhetorical trap.
Julius-Maximil- ians-University Würzburg, Germany
Although the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is one of the most discussed parties in Germany at the moment, neither journalists nor politicians are sure whether it should be classified as conservative, right-wing extremist or right-wing populist. The existing attempts at a scientific classification, all varying in approach and results, share a lack of methodological basis. Therefore, this paper classifies the AfD according to four different definitions by analyzing both primary and secondary sources in a qualitative way. While three of these approaches are rather common models of the right-wing spectrum, one is a new approach, covering only the (right-wing) populist spectrum. Therefore, the criteria of these four different attempts at structuring the right-wing party spectrum are operationalized and both party platforms and scientific papers on the AfD are dissected.
Populism; German politics; right-wing; Alternative for Germany; AfD; party politics.
Spaces of Right-Wing Populism and Anti-Muslim Racism in Austria. Identitarian Movement, Civil Initiatives and the Fight against ‘Islamisation’Edma Ajanovic, Stefanie Mayer, Birgit Sauer
University of Vienna, Austria
University of Vienna, Austria
University of Vienna, Austria
This article argues that the current right-wing social movements in Austria are taking part in a right-wing populist hegemonic project relying on anti-Muslim racism, anti-immigration sentiment and xeno-racism (Fekete 2001). Analysing texts and interviews of two right-wing populist social movements, the Identitarian Movement and the Civil initiatives against the building of mosques, with a critical frame analysis approach, the paper identifies their spaces of political action with the aim of under- standing their success. We argue that, rather than competing with the Austrian Freedom Party in the space of national (party) politics, these movements have established their own niches in the Austrian political space. This strategy not only enables them to co-exist with the main right-wing populist actor, the Freedom Party, in a mutually supportive environment, but it also broadens the right-wing populist discursive strategy of constructing a double antagonism between ‘us’ and ‘them’ (the Elite) and ‘the others’. Hence, while the Identitarian Movement is concerned with meta-politics on the level of the ‘supra-regional’ space which is understood to shape European culture and ‘ethnic identity’, the civil initiatives’ niche is located on the local level and is presented as the space where conflicts between ‘us’ and ‘the other’ are experienced. In our approach of analysing spaces of political action, we argue that recent right-wing populism is successful because it manages to ‘diversify’ spaces of action and to colonize all levels of social life with its idea of antagonistic politics.
Right-wing populism; right-wing social movements; racism; Austria; frame analysis.