One of the characteristics of populist communication is the staging of crises. In particular, populist radical right parties (PRRPs) often communicate a sense of looming crisis by naming real or imagined threats. In light of the recent pandemic crisis, an event that disrupted the ordinary and opened a space for discursive competition, we aim to answer the following questions: what crisis narrative did PRRPs offer? Is it possible to identify a populist articulation in their crisis narratives? Were there differences from their own previous political discourses and the narratives of other similar PRRPs? We propose a qualitative analysis of Facebook posts made in 2020 by the leaders of the Lega per Salvini in Italy and the Rassemblement National in France, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen. We show that the two leaders used a combination of two main strategies: distraction from the crisis by politicizing other issues and maximization of the crisis by identifying enemies and victims. Their crisis narratives had many similarities due to their shared membership of the PRR family and their competitive position as challenger parties but they also had differences that depend on their identity specific characteristics.

The pandemic crisis narrated by the populist radical right parties. The cases of the Lega per Salvini and the Rassemblement National

Campolongo Francesco;Tarditi Valeria
2024-01-01

Abstract

One of the characteristics of populist communication is the staging of crises. In particular, populist radical right parties (PRRPs) often communicate a sense of looming crisis by naming real or imagined threats. In light of the recent pandemic crisis, an event that disrupted the ordinary and opened a space for discursive competition, we aim to answer the following questions: what crisis narrative did PRRPs offer? Is it possible to identify a populist articulation in their crisis narratives? Were there differences from their own previous political discourses and the narratives of other similar PRRPs? We propose a qualitative analysis of Facebook posts made in 2020 by the leaders of the Lega per Salvini in Italy and the Rassemblement National in France, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen. We show that the two leaders used a combination of two main strategies: distraction from the crisis by politicizing other issues and maximization of the crisis by identifying enemies and victims. Their crisis narratives had many similarities due to their shared membership of the PRR family and their competitive position as challenger parties but they also had differences that depend on their identity specific characteristics.
2024
Populist radical right, pandemic crisis, narratives, Lega per Salvini, Rassemblement National, framings, ideology, competition
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/365297
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