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Natural Enemies: Articulations of Racism in Right-Wing Populism in Austria

The article investigates different articulations of racism in right-wing populist discourses in Austria. The paper is based on four case studies focusing on the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), its youth organisation (RFJ), the new-right Identitarian Movement Austria (IBÖ) and a number of NGOs campaigning against (the building of) mosques or Islamic centres. We employed critical frame analysis of texts published online by these four organisations, done in the framework of two projects co-funded by the EU. In this paper we focus on argumentative strategies and patterns of meaning-making relating to frames based on ‘othering’, ethnicisation, and racism, which account for about half of the main frames in the right-wing populist discourses analysed. A closer reading of these discursive strategies shows three distinct modes of racist articulation: forms of anti-Muslim racism, ethnopluralism and xeno-racism. These forms of racist articulations differ not only with regard to the groups that are stigmatised as ‘others’, but also with regard to the racist logic applied and to the functions they are meant to perform within right-wing populist discourses. While anti-Muslim racism is above all a means of creating a positive self-image, ethnopluralism presents a coherent ideology. Xeno-racism on the other hand works mainly as a means of naturalising privileges of natives and strengthening right-wing populists’ discursive hegemony. These empirical findings can be related to theoretical debates on racism and support claims for inclusion of ‘new’, ‘differentialist’ forms in its definition as an analytical concept.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 260 - Racism: Cut up World
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2015 , volume volume 43 , issue issue 260
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