• Mia Lund Bekke
  • Denise Helt Persson
The emergence of the new party family of right-wing populist parties in Denmark and Sweden has been widely researched in recent years as these parties continuously increase their electoral support. However, the literature to some extent fail to incorporate the importance of how the established political parties accept or reject the appearance of these parties in national politics. This dissertation thereby aims to examine how the two political systems in Denmark and Sweden have reacted to right-wing populist parties. This is especially interesting as the two countries are politically, socially and economically very much alike.

h alike, and yet, there seem to have been fundamental differences in the way the political elite (mainstream parties) have reacted to the right-wing populist parties in each country (the Danish People’s Party and the Sweden Democrats).

The study approaches the problem area through an comparative case study of the political elites in Denmark and Sweden in order to determine if the discrepancies can be explained by the use of dis-course theory in a. The research design is thereby made up of a document analysis containing rele-vant articulations from the Social Democratic parties, the Liberal Party in Denmark and the Moder-ates in Sweden, which represent the political elite in this dissertation.

Since the discourse theory (based on Laclau and Mouffe with a supplement from Fairclough) is a diffuse analytical framework, the study has tried to overcome certain barriers by explicitly defining how the concepts derived from the discourse theory are to be understood in this study. In order to limit the empirical material it has been chosen to focus on immigration policies as the right-wing populist-parties are largely defined by their critical stance to immigration. The study makes further use of direct articulations regarding the right-wing populist parties.

Based on the focus on immigration and direct articulations about the right-wing populist parties, the study focuses on four central areas to the problem area: multiculturalism versus nationalism and political correctness versus open debate. We find that these four components largely influence the political elite’s acceptance or rejection of right-wing populist parties in the two countries.

The study is an empirical contribution to the field of discourse and we believe that our explicitly formulated conceptualisations of the discourse theory can work to enhance the possibility of apply-ing the diffuse discourse theory on empirical contexts in comparative situations.
Publication date2015
Number of pages99
ID: 216820960