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Le discours identitaire d’extrême droite: révélateur d’une idéologie aux marges du paysage politique?

Do the speeches of extreme right-wing parties on identity reveal an ideology in the margins of the political landscape?
[journal article]

Cassagnau, Olivier

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Abstract In his book Histoire de l’extrême droite en France (A history of the extreme right in France), the French historian Michel Winock shows how difficult it is to give a simple, accurate definition of the extreme right, which he presents as ‘a hard political tendency but a soft concept’. However, one of the characteristics which are common to most extreme right-wing parties is that they tend to inscribe their discourse on identity (not only from a political point of view but also from a cultural or even biological point of view) inside a marginal space and even a space of marginality, a domain for marginal personalities.We shall see that those organisations choose to place themselves deliberately into the margins of the political landscape and that they do it in both senses of the term: first because their discourses sound scandalous to democratic parties and secondly because those speeches often reflect their will to exclude themselves from the political game. Indeed, extreme right-wing theorists and politicians frequently refuse to exercise power because they consider that such an activity is almost inevitably tainted with compromise and corruption. So they prefer resorting to verbal – or even physical – violence in order to attract voters eager to protest against the supposed unfairness of the establishment. That is why extreme right-wing factions have to face a difficult situation in which they need to be marginal and scandalous to exist, but in which democratic, governmental parties can easily use their marginal character to turn them into political scarecrows and ensure their own dominance in an even surer way.
Keywords political right; political identity; speech; politics; Great Britain; Belgium; France
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords British National Party; Vlaams Belang; Front National
Document language French
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 47-58
Journal Annals of the University of Bucharest / Political science series, 10 (2008)
ISSN 1582-2486
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works