Laurie Beaudonnet – Party Politics – Being European, the nationalist way: Europe in the discourse of radical right parties

Read the article co-written by Laurie Beaudonnet on Sage Journals.

European radical right parties (RRPs) have recently experienced strong electoral success and have strengthened their positions within the European Parliament. While their Eurosceptic positions are well documented in the literature, the fact that most RRPs refer not only to their nations but to Europe in general, as a collective, in order to ground their nationalist visions remains understudied. We investigate this issue by analyzing the discourses of MEPs from 24 radical right parties in the 8th legislature of the European Parliament (2014–2019). Relying on a vast corpus (36,413 speeches) and using quantitative text analysis, this research sheds light on the various notions of Europe that are used by radical right MEPs. We find evidence of three visions of Europe: as a civilization; as an ethno-religious community; and as a liberal society. The use and preferences for each visions vary according to ideological positions, strategies and national contexts.

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