Recent debates about populism include differing approaches to the concept, understanding it, on the one hand, as an ideology, and, on the other hand (and often in opposition to ideology), as a communicative style, strategy or content. Scholarship also differs in arguing whether to approach populism “in the normal”, i.e. recognizing its manifestations across the political spectrum, or theorize it in relation to authoritarian and ethno-nationalist right wing political field only, leaving “left-populism” at the side. Approaching populism at the crossroads of both ideology and discourse and recognizing that populism develops across party differences, we analyse in this paper how representatives of political parties in Slovenia responded to migration during and after the time of the functioning of the “Balkan migratory route” (or “refugee crisis”) in the period of 2015-2018. Based on frame analysis of parliamentary debates in Slovenian National Assembly which address migration we explore the differences and similarities in speeches of different politicians identifying distinct »populist frames« revealing how various political actors speak about migration and refugees. We argue that distinct features of populist communication on migration stretch from exclusionary, ethno-nationalistic to inclusionary solidary frames revealing the “chameleonic” nature of populism that fits programmatic and ideological maps of specific political actors.
B.03 Paper at an international scientific conferenceCOBISS.SI-ID: 36351325
We argue that in a situation of “flourishing populism”, and the spread of the populist rhetoric and styles populist discourses and practices are part of politics en masse. We focus to discuss mobilization of populism as responses to migration, presenting preliminary findings of an empirical study that analyses antagonistic reactions during and after the time of the functioning of the “Balkan migratory route” (or “refugee crisis”) in Slovenia in the period of 2015-2018. We show how parliamentary speeches, party statements, legal and policy documents, which were adopted in that period mainly reproduced a technicist nationalist discourse that presented migration as a “(security) challenge” to the state apparatus. On the other hand the paper explores the notion of “inclusionary populism” and presents how civil society actors developed critical counterarguments (in various published petitions, manifestos, public letters etc.) against exclusions and influenced some legal changes that reframed the migration debate. Finally, the paper evaluates empirical findings - oscillating between empathy and solidarity on one hand and framing migration as a problem to “national security” or a threat on the other – against the theoretical debates, helping us clarify the necessary conceptual dimensions of “populism”.
B.03 Paper at an international scientific conferenceCOBISS.SI-ID: 1282157
Political shifts in the post-1989 period in Central and Eastern Europe and military conflicts in the Balkans have intensified ethnic nationalism in these societies, while also intensifying populism, by reproducing groups of the excluded. This article shows that recent trends of “exclusionary populism” have evolved as a mix of nationalization and re-traditionalization / processes against gender equality. The article approaches populism at the crossroads of ideology and political style and analyzes communication strategies and discourses of selected populist actors in Slovenia, which include tendencies towards the movement against gender equality with the aim of hindering women's sexual and reproductive rights and same-sex couples' rights.
B.03 Paper at an international scientific conferenceCOBISS.SI-ID: 36297565