"Migrants as a threat: Current framing strategies of right-wing populists in Europe"  (2016)

Lorenzetti, Maria Ivana
"Migrants as a threat: Current framing strategies of right-wing populists in Europe"
Type of item:
Abstract in Atti di convegno
Tipologia ANVUR:
Abstract in Atti di convegno
A Stampa
Europe in Discourse: Identity, Diversity, Borders. 1st International Conference
23-25 Settembre, 2016
Hellenic American University
Page numbers:
Political Discourse; Right-wing Populism; Critical Discourse Analysis; Contrastive Linguistics; Racism
Short description of contents:
The European Union is a complex entity currently comprising 28 member states from multiple national, historical and cultural traditions, and the concept of European identity itself encompasses a range of different dimensions, which make it difficult to provide a clear and unique definition of it (Wodak and Boukala 2015; Wodak and Weiss 2007). Despite the fact that multiculturalism, the promotion of “unity in diversity”, and the fall of national borders in the traditional political sense have always been founding ideals of the EU, the last few years saw the rise and emergence of many (often anti-European) right-wing political movements promoting nationalistic policies and creating ever new “borders” throughout Europe. Such right-wing parties and movements, often using a rhetorical style combining features of populist oratory (Canovan 1999; Zaslove 2008), increasingly promote their candidacy as being aligned with the spirit and benefit of “the people”, viewed in an idealized and homogeneous way, in contrast with usurpers alleged to threaten the identity and integrity of a nation. In doing so, in the last few years, which saw a huge increase in mass migrations of people to Europe from Africa and the Middle East, they have instrumentalized some ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities as scapegoats and “dangerous Others” according to an “Us and Them” logic, gaining votes by playing upon people’s most deeply rooted fears. Although these parties and their leaders may differ in their oratory, as they combine different narrative imaginaries, emphasizing specific issues according to the kind of nationalist past they want to evoke, their rhetorical strategies are generally based on constructing specific types of threats allegedly posed by immigrants. By employing an approach combining a textual (Merlini Barbaresi 2003) and critical discourse analysis perspective (Chilton 2003; Wodak 2007), this paper investigates how specific right-wing parties (the Lega Nord in Italy, the Front Nationale in France and the UKIP in Great Britain) and politicians frame immigration as a threat (i.e. cultural, religious, economic and security) (Hogan and Haltinner 2015; Richardson and Colombo 2013) , considering their lexicon, register, and the usage and framing of metaphors (Lakoff 1996). Our analysis draws on a corpus of electoral speeches, especially considering the years from 2014 to the first half of 2016, trying also to assess the extent to which the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 affected their style. Social network posts and electoral slogans and posters will also be taken into account. References Canovan, Margaret (1999), “Trust the People! Populism and the Two Faces of Democracy”, Political Studies 47, 1: 2-16. Hogan, Jackie and Kristin Haltinner (2015), “Floods, Invaders and Parasites: Immigration Threat Narratives and Right-Wing Populism in the USA, UK and Australia”, Journal of Intercultural Studies 36, 5: 520-543. Chilton Paul (2003) Analysing Political Discourse: Theory and Practice, London, Routledge Lakoff, George (1996), Moral Politics. What Conservatives Know that Liberals Don’t, Chicago, IL, The University of Chicago Press. Merlini Barbaresi, Lavinia (2003) “Towards a Theory of Text Complexity”, in L. Merlini Barbaresi (ed.), Complexity in Language and Text, Pisa, Edizioni Plus, 2003: 23-66. Richardson John E. and Monica Colombo (2013), “Continuity and Change in Anti-Immigrant Discourse in Italy. An Analysis of the Visual propaganda of the Lega Nord”, Journal of Language and Politics 12, 2: 180-202. Wodak, Ruth (2007) “Pragmatics and Critical Discourse Analysis”, Pragmatics and Cognition 15, 1: 203-225. Wodak, Ruth and Salomi Boukala (2015), “European Identities and the Revival of Nationalism in the European Union”, Journal of Language and Politics 14, 1: 87-109. Wodak, Ruth and Gilbert Weiss (2007), “Analyzing European Uni
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Last Modified:
July 3, 2022
Bibliographic citation:
Lorenzetti, Maria Ivana, "Migrants as a threat: Current framing strategies of right-wing populists in Europe"  in Europe in Discourse: Identity, Diversity, Borders. 1st International Conference. Book of AbstractsHellenic American UniversityProceedings of "Europe in Discourse: Identity, Diversity, Borders. 1st International Conference" , Atene , 23-25 Settembre, 2016 , 2016pp. 150-151

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The Analysis of Political Discourse Department Lingue e Letterature Straniere Maria Ivana Lorenzetti


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