Rechtspopulistische Parteien und diskursive Möglichkeiten während Covid-19. Populistische Schuldzuweisungen in Zeiten der Krise

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This study examines how populist radical right parties (PRRP) adapt to the discursive opportunities delivered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Conducting manual content analyses of discourses on Twitter in six Western European countries between February and October 2020 we show that PRRP frame the pandemic as a domestic political crisis attacking primarily national political elites. While PRRP occasionally link their initial support for measures against the pandemic to blame attribution towards immigrants accusing them of spreading the virus, nativist messages almost disappear when PRRP became less supportive of restrictions. Instead, in countries less affected by the pandemic (Austria, Germany) as well as in Spain, PRRP compensate the lack of nativist messages by using anti-elitist demonizing discourses against the national government accusing it of abolishing democracy and undermining freedom. The study shows how PRRP electorally “survive” periods with scarce nativist discursive opportunities by emphasizing on anti-elitist discourses.

Translated title of the contributionPopulist radical right parties and discursive opportunities during Covid-19. Blame attribution in times of crisis
Original languageGerman
JournalZeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)545-570
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 11.2022

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