A1 Journal article – refereed
Confrontational yet submissive: Calculated ambivalence and populist parties’ strategies of responding to racism accusations in the media

List of Authors: Hatakka Niko, Niemi Mari K., Välimäki Matti
Publisher: SAGE
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Discourse and Society
Volume number: 28
Issue number: 3
Number of pages: 19
eISSN: 1460-3624


This article provides an analysis and typology of the discursive
strategies nationalist-populist anti-immigration parties use when
responding to racism accusations in mainstream news. The typology is
based on a three-party comparative analysis of statements given in
national public service media by the representatives of three
electorally successful Northwestern European populist parties – the UK
Independence Party, the Finns Party and the Sweden Democrats. When
responding to racism accusations, populist parties use both submissive
and confrontational sets of discursive strategies in varying
combinations to communicate an ambivalent attitude towards racism. This
ambivalence is communicated both on the level of an individual speaker
utilizing several strategies and on the level of multiple speakers
communicating contradictory messages. The comparative analysis suggests
that country-specific contexts, and the statuses of both the persons
under accusation and the responders giving statements, affect to what
extent responses to racism accusations tend to be confrontational.

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Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 21:38