The populist Politics of Recognition

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Despite the fact that inclusion and exclusion are seen as key aspects of populism, often they are not the main topic of research. Furthermore, studies wherein these aspects are at the core, have resulted in strongly opposing conclusions. Therefore, the current (case) study will perform a discourse analysis, focusing on the in- and exclusiveness of four populist parties from Africa and – from a geographic perspective – the European periphery. Populism in Africa is a relatively new research topic and there is no study to date that deals with the ‘inclusion/exclusion issue’ in Africa. Additionally, a significant amount of manifestations of populism have emerged in the European periphery this century. While there is a general lack of focus on Africa, the European periphery has been the subject of many studies on populism. However, the in- and exclusiveness issue within this latter region has largely been ignored. In sum, the main aim is to distinguish how in- or exclusionary contemporary populism is in Africa and the European periphery, to achieve a better understanding of these types of populism. As a secondary benefit, this study is designed as such that the results will provide information about less exposed regions, thereby enabling a (new) cross-regional comparison. The analyzed cases are: Fidesz (Hungary), SYRIZA (Greece), EFF (South Africa) and ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe). This study shows inclusionary and exclusionary elements in both regions. A more general conclusion is therefore that the notion of an inclusive-exclusive dichotomy should not be pushed too far. The populist discourse in the European periphery is variable: SYRIZA’s populist discourse could be labeled as strictly inclusionary, whereas Fidesz’ populist discourse could be labeled as mostly exclusionary. However, the populist discourse in the African region is largely exclusionary, excluding particularly the white population. Hereby, the current study adds to existing cross-regional research on the in- and exclusiveness of populism.
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