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Session Overview
RN31_06a_H: Right-Wing Populism and Nationalism
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Sina Arnold, Humboldt University Berlin
Location: HA.1.3
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 1.

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Ideology, Power and Collective Identity of the Hungarian Neo-nationalism: A Discursive Approach of Understanding Right-Wing Radicalism

László Péter Lipcsei

University of Debrecen, Hungary

My presentation investigates the discursive constructions of the ideology and collective identity of Hungarian right-wing extremist community. The research follows a constructivist logic, thus the concept of ‘nation’ or neo-nationalism are not substantive categories, but they are continuously (re)constructed through performative and discursive actions. The main sources of analysis are lyrics of Hungarian skinhead bands and an anti-establishment performance (Day of Honour) are to be analysed. These texts and talks are understood in the framework of ‘imagined community’ where the notions of ‘nation’, ‘white people’ or ‘superior race’ fulfil identity-building functions characterized by a positive group image: a heroic, masculine, brave image. Integration does not only strengthens the self, but the collective identity as well, and the neo-nationalists have the opportunity to gain collective experience of belonging. The anti-establishment memorial creates an alternative canon of collective memory by constructing a heroic event of the break-out of German and Hungarian soldiers from Buda castle during the WW II. This memorial is organized annually by Hungarian neo-nationalist and neo-Nazi organisations, that attracts interest of similar groups from all over Europe. This is the globalisation of right-wing extremism, which creates paradoxically a nationalist but also supranational narrative. Neo-nationalist discourse constructs simultaneously the positive representation of the in-group and the group of ‘they’, presenting as a dangerous foreigner or a well-known enemy, whose existence threatens them. Critical discourse analysis calls it ‘ideological square’. These discursive strategies will be explained through the analysis of texts and speeches in my presentation.

„Taking the people’s fears seriously“ vs. „threat against democracy“. Public Debates about Contemporary Right-Wing Extremism in Austria

Matthias Falter

University of Vienna, Austria

Far-right attitudes are not limited to so-called fringe groups and the extremist political margins of society. However, as various studies show, authoritarian, racist and antisemitic ideas diffuse into mainstream political discourse, drive electoral campaigns and even shape policies. The success of right-wing extremist parties does not only depend on their specific strategies of adaptation and differentiation within democratic institutions, but also on the general political context, on civic culture and political reactions to antidemocratic, far-right arguments. Therefore, the analysis of political debates on right-wing extremism contributes to the study of the societal opportunity structures, which do or do not foster the dissemination of authoritarianism, racism or antisemitism. In my paper, I will reconstruct public debates about right-wing extremism in Austria since 2008. The analysis will focus on two specific prominent argumentative frames. First, these debates are struggles about the very meaning about democracy and its normative boundaries. Second, the discourse about right-wing extremism very often is dominated by logics of ‘law and order’. Both frames, as will be shown, entail specific effects of legitimizing, displacing or ignoring ideologies of inequality, such as authoritarianism, racism and antisemitism.

Gender and Nation: A fertile blending, manifesting in Anti-Gender Discourses

Carina Maier

University of Vienna, Austria

́Gender ́ and ́Nation ́ materialize as essential structural categories, creating identities, influencing each other, instrumentalizing each other.

In the book ́Gender and Nation ́, Nira Yuval-Davis contributes a theoretical framework by – making visible the gendered dimension of nationalism - in discourses and constructions around ́nation ́ more general and in specific relations between masculinity and femininity within national projects in particular. Using three of her elaborated dimensions, the biological reproduction of nation, the cultural reproduction and the differentiation within legality issues concerning citizenship, I analyze Anti-Gender Discourses occurring in Europe aggravated.

Especially, I am interested in how these analyses of discourses among Anti-Gender can be useful for the sharpening of the notions of ́gender ́ and ́nation ́ and their theoretical marriage. My argument, the fertile blending of gender and nation, appears obvious, not considering ́Anti-Gender ́ as a new phenomena, but strongly intensifying with the rise of right wing populism and right wing extremism. These discourses occur historically specific, supported by various actors, and in particular as national projects, but they are insightful for a lot of European countries, having certain characteristics in common. Especially significant here is the recourse on natural orders, inevitable to construct national projects.

Paradoxically referring to Anti-Gender discourses at a European phenomena still makes sense, in trying to construct or rather reconstruct a specific constellation of gender and nation in whole Europe – in a biological, cultural and legal way – as opposed to a European ́Other ́, stabilizing Capitalism and in a way ́Making Europe ́.

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