The Role of External Actors as “Discursive Antagonists” in Nationalist-Authoritarian Populist Discourse: A Comparative Analysis of Hungary and Turkey

brownbag seminar
SR 15.33, RESOWI, B
Tuesday, 9 January, 2018 - 13:00

This seminar will explore the role that external actors – such as the EU, but also crucially the United States or even “the West” in a very general sense – play as “discursive antagonists” in the Turkish and Hungarian “alt right” (in these cases, far right Eurasianist) movements through alternative media, the public sphere, and think thanks and civil society organisations. It will incorporate the analysis of discourse that focuses on broader historical Western “conspiracies” against the state’s independent existence, the way in which liberal democracies are cast as suffering from such built-in, systemic problems as their emphasis on individuals rather than the collective, and – crucially – the idealization of other “powerful outsiders” as contrasting “discursive protagonists” – particularly Russia, China, and – less frequently – Iran.
Specifically, it will engage the questions of the role that EU, the US, the “West” more generally play in the broad discursive environment of authoritarian-nationalist populism in Southeastern Europe and the mirror image of the rhetorical construction and deployment of other “powerful outsiders” (Russia and China) as “discursive protagonists” in the same environment of populist discourse.