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Far right seminar 2

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Stine Laursen

on 7 October 2014

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Transcript of Far right seminar 2

Today's Seminar
1. Seminar questions and questions about the lecture?

2. Groups
- Public opinion on immigration
- Media discourse
- Party politics
- Nationhood - the imagined community

3. Questions?
Party Politics
Seminar Questions
To what extent and why do European publics oppose immigration?
Why are immigration and multiculturalism such divisive political issues?
Why have mainstream parties struggled with the immigration issue?
How have mainstream parties responded to the rise of the far right?
Why is the immigration issue a problem for mainstream parties?
How have mainstream parties responded to the rise of the far right?
Ignored it
Rejected it
Co-opted it
Thank you
See you next week!
Seminar 2
Mainstream and Extreme
"Parties: parties have received relatively short shrift among students of the politics of migration" (Triadafilopoulos and Zaslove 2006:171)
Immigration "is located at the crossroads between two very different semantics: those based on economics or functional issues... and those based on culture, identity and tradition" (Sciortino 2000:224-5)
Left: Human Rights vs blue collar workers
Right: Free Markets vs Socially Conservatives/nationalists (Security, law and order, low taxes, God, Queen and Country)
Kinds of influence:
Why do opinion matter?
Party competition - parties compete for voters to get elected.
Demand and supply - not independent of each other - Political entrepreneurs (far right..)
Conspiracy of silence that created a space??
Issue ownership
Public opinion about immigration
2011 - Ipsos Mori Poll: European results
Questions about the readings?
Frames -
media/political discourses
Cas Mudde (2012: 9-12) has identified five anti-immigrant ‘frames’ articulated by the European far right:
Cultural frame,
in which immigration is seen as a threat to the traditions and homogeneity of the nation, is the most important.
Since the 9/11 attacks, this is increasingly conjoined to a
religious frame
, in which Muslim immigrants in particular are depicted as a threat to liberal democratic values, due to the supposedly illiberal and anti-democratic nature of Islam.
A third frame depicts immigrants as a
security threat
. This includes allegations that immigrants are more likely to commit criminal acts than the host population, as well as claims that immigrants pose a terrorist threat. Since 9/11 this has been fused with the cultural-religious framing to produce a discourse in which Muslim immigrants are not only or even principally a threat due to individual acts of terrorism, but moreover due to a supposed project to transform European identity and allegiances; in the most paranoiac version Muslims are depicted as a ‘fifth column’ bent on transforming Europe into ‘Eurabia’, a Euro-Arab axis that is anti-American and anti-Zionist (see Bawer 2006; Ye’Or 2005).
A fourth framing depicts immigrants as an
economic burden
on the destination country, taking jobs form natives, depressing wages, and draining social benefits.
A fifth,
political framing
represents immigrants as tools of an international elite, which conspires to undermine the average citizen. This framing most obviously links anti-immigration claims with the populist rhetoric of far right parties.
But! is the far right always driving the agenda/policies?
Why has immigration become a salient issue in European politics?
1. Such issues are very real, or at least threatening, for many millions of people
2. they are (to coin a phrase)media-sexy, consonant with classic and contemporary "new values" [...] as well as dovetailing nicely with the political agenda of some media owners
3. There are enough mainstream politicians prepared to help keep the issues on the boil
4. Those politicians do so - at least in part- because they think the problem warrant talking about and see it as their democratic duty to do so
Bale (2008:322-3)

Dual process - reflexive...
Identity vs Economics
Ivarsflaten 2005
Hypothesis 1
: parts of the public supports restrictive immigration and asylum policies because they believe that to protect the national community from decline the national government needs to assert its control over borders and the granting of citizenship.

Hypothesis 2:
parts of the public supports restrictive immigration and asylum policies because they see it as a way to protect the cultural, religious and linguistic distinctness and unity of their national community.

Hypothesis 3
: a larger part of the public will see restrictive immigration and asylum policies as an appropriate response to a larger variety of their concerns if a highly visible elite actor repeatedly argues that such a connection exist.

Main concern: national unity (cultural and identity concerns - identity politics)
Elites contributes - but the impact is modest (p38) (perceived problems and preferred solutions)
Full transcript