Right Wing Populism in the West: Social Media Discourse and Echo Chambers


Insight Turkey Volume 19 No. 3, 2017

Nativist/nationalist discourses have been on the rise in the European sphere in recent decades. Wodak and colleagues in their large scale edited volume bring together a variety of Western/European case studies of right wing populist parties/ movements and discourses and warn against the rising trends of such views in Europe. These studies range from discussing the theoretical foundations and conceptualization of the nature of populist rhetoric to explaining the unprecedented changes in the working class electorates and their economic grievances in several European countries. In the years following the publication of the book, a new wave of right wing populist parties and groups across Europe have made significant inroads in popular support, be it in the form of entering the structure of governments or making significant gains in their vote shares. Most of these populist discourses are characterized in terms of their vociferous claims to being anti-establishment, anti-elitist and anti globalization. These calls are made within a Western context where economic globalization and global capitalist movement have been the order of the day in politics within the last decades.

The right wing populism discourses are characterized in a set of common and recurring discursive strategies, albeit in varying degrees of intensity and scale. Firstly, there is the call for a swift and radical shift from a globalization rationale towards a national and nativist politics. This discursive strategy criticizes the normalized economic politics in the West i.e. economic liberalism, free movement of capital and labor, and deregulation of financial markets –even though, all these are reduced to an anti-immigration rhetoric in populist discourse.

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