The Paradox of Nationalism: The Common Denominator of Radical Left and Radical Right Euroscepticism
44 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 6 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
This paper asks what explains similar Eurosceptic positions between radical right and radical left parties. In answering this question, it focuses on the paradoxical role of nationalism as an integral part of the discourse of both radical right and radical left wing parties. Although these two party families differ in terms of origins, transnational links and policy and although nationalism is usually associated with parties of the right in the literature, this paper argues that in fact nationalism cuts across party lines and is associated with both party families’ opposition to European integration. In order to test our argument, we employ a mixed methods approach. First, we use a new dataset from the 2009 Euromanifestos Project (EMP), which coded party manifestos. We have isolated questions that refer to nationalism and European integration and examine broad policy parallels between the two party families across Europe. Second, we apply the findings from the quantitative analysis on Greece and France as two countries with a strong presence of both radical right and radical left small parties.
Keywords: Nationalism, Euroscepticism, Radical Right, Radical Left
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