Anti‐elitism in the European Radical Right in Comparative Perspective
ISSN der Zeitschrift
To better understand the communication of anti-elitism in contemporary politics, this study conceptually differentiates between specific anti-elitism geared toward specific, materially powerful elites (‘Angela Merkel’) and general anti-elitism referencing broader discursive constructs (‘the elite’). The study analyses the online communications of radical right parties in the 2019 European Parliament elections from six countries (Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Poland and Sweden). This more fine-grained analysis of anti-elitism highlights some areas of transnational convergence, such as a tendency to focus on specific political elites, rather than other sectors such as the media or discursive constructs. The findings also reveal stratification according to parties’ position in national power structures: opposition parties tend to target national-level elites while governing parties focus on the European level. The findings highlight that anti-elitism is used in a highly instrumental way, and help us to better understand the intersection between anti-elitism and the multilevel politics of EP elections.