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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter disentangles the concepts of populism and nationalism to shed light on how populism and nationalism have been combined in populist politics. Drawing on Essex-style discourse theory, it defines nationalism as a discourse structured around “the nation,” envisaged as a limited and sovereign community that exists through time and is tied to a certain space, and that is constructed through an in/out (member/non-member) opposition. Populism, by contrast, is structured around a down/up antagonism between “the people” as a large powerless group and “the elite” as a small and illegitimately powerful group, with populists claiming to represent “the people.” The chapter uses this theoretical distinction to analyse the intricate empirical connections between populism and nationalism. It pays particular attention to the articulation of exclusionary nationalism and populism in populist radical right politics, populist ways of formulating demands for national sovereignty, and the possibilities and limitations of a transnational populism.

Keywords: populism, nationalism, discourse theory, populist radical right, transnational populism

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