Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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It has been argued that far-right populist parties (FRPP) distinguish themselves from other parties on the right of the political spectrum through their strong association with nationalism, anti-elitism, authoritarianism and historical mythologizing. These features typically manifest in discourse that attempts to justify exclusionist immigration and asylum policies by presenting Islam as an existential threat to predominantly white societies. This paper seeks to establish whether a conservative party that has never been considered populist could possess the same features as an FRPP by comparing three selected discursive texts – one from mainstream conservative party leader John Howard and two from prominent European FRPP leaders. The analysis revealed that the key difference between the three leaders was Howard’s failure to satisfy the authoritarianism criterion, which was interpreted as a decisive factor in his party’s moderate guise. This suggests that some mainstream parties may be more ideologically extremist than they are perceived to be.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): discourse analysis; ethnonationalism; exclusion; Islamophobia; national identity
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