"We are the Good Guys": Europeanization of Neo-Nationalism, the case of Sweden

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"We are the Good Guys": Europeanization of Neo-Nationalism, the case of Sweden

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Publication Conference Paper, peer reviewed
Title "We are the Good Guys": Europeanization of Neo-Nationalism, the case of Sweden
Author(s) Hellström, Anders ; Nilsson, Tom
Date 2008
English abstract
This article investigates the public debate on the politics and voters of the Swedish neo-nationalist party Sverigedemokraterna (SD) as it is manifest in the media coverage from the elections in September 2006 to May 2007. We firstly aim to identify ideological positions manifest in the public debate of SD-politics and their voters in the fields of democracy and culture. Secondly, we aim to abstract the results of this inquiry to a general level of societal reconfigurations of European societies. Methodologically, we use ideology analysis to (1) identify manifest messages articulated through different positions in the public debate and to (2) scrutinize rhetorical figures, which inadvertently or deliberately, sustain the messages and provide them with a certain degree of credibility. Even if representatives from the established parties seek to maintain a dichotomy between SD and the rest, the analysis of the usage of rhetorical figures reveals a net of identity relations rather than a mere distinction between “Us” and “them”. SD endeavours to act at the margins of the European Grammar, which conveys, on the one hand, common values of democracy, rule-of-law and human rights and, on the other hand, a politics of fear based on a perception of the outside world as ultimately dangerous. Our findings suggest that processes of Europeanization not only indicate increased convergence between various post-national or cosmopolitan views. On the contrary, the Europeanization of neo-nationalism, somewhat paradoxically, shows proof of how also xenophobic nationalist movements have benefited from, or at least profited on the European Integration process.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) neo-nationalism
ideology analysis
rhetorical figures
European Integration
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Political science
Note This text was presented at the ECPR joint workshop session held in Rennes 12-16 of April 2008 and was included in the workshop: Is Populism a Side-Effect of the Europeanization of Political Competition
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/7145 (link to this page)

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