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Session Overview
RN32_05a_P: RADHISCEE: Radical Right Discourses in Central and Eastern Europe
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Gabriella Szabó, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of S
Session Chair: Ov Cristian Norocel, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Location: PD.2.33
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 2.

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Metamorphosis of Populist Radical Right Discourses in the Czech Republic 1989-2016

Věra Stojarová

Masaryk University, Faculty of Social Studies, Czech Republic

The presentation follows the populist radical right in the Czech Republic from 1989 to the present day, offering insight into its interaction with the media, its place within public discourse, and its status in the context of competing parties. The author tracks the communication patterns of radical right populism in the Czech Republic and highlights different aspects of discursive opportunities. Based on the extensive literature review and qualitative analysis of the communication repertoires of the populist radical right, the main claim of the presentation is that there is a strong proliferation of populist discourses into the mainstream politics but not necessarily by radical right populist parties in Czech Republic. Miloš Zeman, the President of Czech Republic from 2013, has contributed to the mainstreaming of nationalism and xenophobia, but instead of adding voters and supporters to the populist radical right, he rather created a division of Zeman/anti-Zeman in the public discourses. In this sense, the case of Czech Republic depicts a seemingly contradictory discursive constellation in which the discursive elements of the populist radical right entered into the mainstream without the ease of the strong and longstanding media isolation of the radical right parties.

The memory as socio-semiotic resource. The case of the radical right’s discourse on the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, 1990-1998 (RADHISCEE)

Gabriella Szabó

Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of S, Hungary

The presented paper provides a socio- semiotic approach and an illustrative example of the multimodal discourse analysis of a collective memory of 1956 in the discourse of the evolving radical right in Hungary. It is argued that the collective memory of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 has been produced by publicly and repetitively circulating signs to fabricate the political identity of the radical right politics. The focus of the examination is on mapping out their means for meaning making of 1956 during the first two election period (1990-1998) after the collapse of the communist regime. The study presents weekly journal ‘Magyar Fórum’ as sign-maker which shape and combine semiotic resources to establish connections between politicians and supporters of radical right. The instruments of the sign-making are examined by identifying the narratives and the visual grammar of remembering 1956. The construction of the collective memory of 1956, therefore, is considered as the key semiotic resource in the radical right political discourses in the analysed time period.

Right-wing Populist Parties as Agents of National Culture and Welfare Chauvinism in the Post-Communist Context (RADHISCEE)

Ov Cristian Norocel1, Radu Cinpoes2

1University of Helsinki, Finland; 2Kingston University London, UK

This contribution is set to examine the interplay between ideas of national culture, as cues for national specificity, and welfare chauvinist proposals, aimed at providing welfare services to a narrowly defined ethnic group, in Central and Eastern Europe, as promoted by right-wing populist parties in the region. For this purpose we suggest a comparative framework to account for the various positions that such parties occupy in mainstream politics in the region. Our analysis deals with the case of the right-wing populist party as key opposition force, such as the Movement for a Better Hungary (Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom, Jobbik) in Hungary; the case of the right-wing populist party becoming the main governing force, such as the Law and Justice Party (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) in Poland; and thirdly, the case of an unsuccessful right-wing populist party, such as the United Romania Party (Partidul România Unită, PRU). For the purpose of our qualitative analysis we have collected empirical material both from the latest elections for the European Parliament (May 2014) and the latest national elections in each chosen country (April 2014 in Hungary; October 2015 in Poland; respectively December 2016 in Romania). The aim of this study is to map out the various electoral strategies employed, more or less successfully, that juxtapose welfare chauvinist proposals to cultural protectionist appeals, and consequently shed light on the culture and welfare nexus in the Central and Eastern European context.

Radical Change? – Moderation Strategy of the Hungarian Radical Right Party Jobbik

Csaba Molnár, Daniel Rona

Corvinus University, Hungary

An important tendency of far-right parties is that many of them are becoming more moderate. The paper examines whether this de-radicalization appears in the case of the Hungarian Jobbik (Movement for the Better Hungary) which declared its moderation strategy in 2013 (similarly to the French Front National’s ‘dédiabolisation’). According to the authors, radicalism is – to a large extent – a relative concept: a party can be regarded as radical if its stance is unique and totally different from any other parties’ positions. If the main conservative party adopts the policy of the far right, the far right won’t be an outlier anymore. Thus, the paper pinpoints the stances of the four most important parties of Hungary (far-right Jobbik, conservative Fidesz, socialist MSZP and green LMP) along the main policy dimensions of the Hungarian political agenda in 2010 and in 2016. The paper shall also introduce the agenda-setting effect of Jobbik: it identifies its main initiations. The research is based on the content analyses of party manifestos, media-coverage, parliamentary activities (legislative proposals, interpellations, etc.) and demonstrations of Jobbik and, to some extent, the other parties. The paper aims to assess the extent and characteristics of Jobbik’s shift on ideology and rhetoric.

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