Images of Europe in the discourse of German left- and right-wing populists: between solidarity Europe and fortress Europe

Images of Europe in the discourse of German left- and right-wing populists:
between solidarity Europe and fortress Europe


Svirchevskii D.A.,

HSE University, Moscow, Russia, dasvirchevskiy@edu.hse.ru

ORCID: 0009-0008-1991-719X | RESEARCHER_ID: HNJ-4343-2023

Fomin I.V.,

HSE University, Moscow, Russia; INION RAN, Moscow, Russia; MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia, fomin.i@gmail.com


elibrary_id: 638552 | ORCID: 0000-0003-4703-5262 | RESEARCHER_ID: R-8897-2016

Article received: 2021.12.04. Accepted: 2022.08.19


DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2023.02.03
EDN: YGNOEA


For citation:

Svirchevskii D.A., Fomin I.V. Images of Europe in the discourse of German left- and right-wing populists: between solidarity Europe and fortress Europe. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No. 2. P. 27-40. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2023.02.03. EDN: YGNOEA


This research was supported by a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for state support of young Russian scientists – candidates of sciences (№ 075-15-2020-335).


Abstract

The study seeks to understand how German left- and right-wing populists (“Die Linke” and “Alternative für Deutschland”) discursively construct the images of Europe. The toolkit of the discourse-historical approach is applied to analyze the discursive strategies of nomination, predication and argumentation that are used by the two parties to represent Europe as it is and the Europe that is desired. The study is structured based on an analytical framework that distinguishes among three dimensions of the discourses on Europe: the ideational dimension, organizational dimension, and geographical dimension. The results of the analysis show that, in the ideational dimension of the image of Europe, “Die Linke” represents the today’s European Union as a militarized and excessively competitive structure that should instead be focused on protecting human rights as well as promoting peace and solidarity. In its turn, “Alternative für Deutschland” shows the EU as a threat to European cultures and to the sovereignty of European countries. In the organisational dimension of the discourse, both left- and right-wing populists criticize the EU for being undemocratic, but their solutions to this problem are different. While “Alternative für Deutschland” supports the idea of Germany’s withdrawal from the EU, “Die Linke” sees the future of the country only in the context of a united Europe. In the geographical dimension, “Die Linke” criticizes the EU for being too isolated, while it ought to be more open to the outer world. In contrast, “Alternative für Deutschland” emphasizes the insufficient security of the European Union and advocates for its greater closeness. Overall, “Die Linke” constructs the images of Europe mostly on the basis of the topoi of anti-militarism, anti-capitalism, humanitarianism, openness, and democracy, while “Alternative für Deutschland” uses the topoi of culture, history, sovereignty and financial profit. In general, the study shows that although there are a lot of differences in the rhetoric of “Die Linke” and “Alternative für Deutschland”, they both construct arguments against the current EU based on the core populist assumption that the will of the people, democracy, and popular sovereignty must be respected.

Keywords
image of Europe, Europe, populism, Germany, left-wing populism, right-wing populism, discourse analysis, Alternative Deutschland, Die Linke.

Дополнительные материалы

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Content No. 2, 2023

See also:


Vainshtein G.I.,
Modern Populism as a Subject of Political Science. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No4

Sokolshchik L.M.,
American Conservatism and the Callenge of Contemporary Populism: Theoretical and Ideological Aspects. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No1

Zaslavsky V.,
Russia on the Way to Market: State-Dependent Workers and Populism. – Polis. Political Studies. 1991. No5

Pain E.A., Fediunin S.Yu.,
Populism and Elitism in Contemporary Russia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2019. No1

Fishman L.G.,
Populism Will Be Long Lasting. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No3

 

   

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