Populist right-wing politics is moving centre-stage, with some parties reaching the very top of the electoral ladder: but do we know why, and why now?
In this book Ruth Wodak traces the trajectories of such parties from the margins of the political landscape to its centre, to understand and explain how they are transforming from fringe voices to persuasive political actors who set the agenda and frame media debates. Laying bare the normalization of nationalistic, xenophobic, racist and antisemitic rhetoric, she builds a new framework for this 'politics of fear' that is entrenching new social divides of nation, gender and body.
The result reveals the micro-politics of right-wing populism: how discourses, genres, images and texts are performed and manipulated in both formal and also everyday contexts with profound consequences. This book is a must-read for scholars and students of linguistics, media and politics wishing to understand these dynamics that are re-shaping our political space.
Chapter 1: Populism and Politics: Transgressing Norms and Taboos
Chapter 2: Theories and Definitions: The Politics of Identity
Chapter 3: Borders and the People: The Politics of Exclusion
Chapter 4: Language and Identity: The Politics of Nationalism
Chapter 5: Antisemitism: The Politics of Denial
Chapter 6: Performance and the Media: The Politics of Charisma
Chapter 7: Gender and the Body Politic: The Politics of Patriarchy
Chapter 8: Mainstreaming: The Normalization of Exclusion
In a masterful synthesis, Ruth Wodak combines argumentation theory, rhetorical and discourse-historical analysis to the resurgent discourses of right-wing populism, racism, sexism and xenophobia in Europe and the US. A highly topical insight into and inditement of the politics of fear and exclusionism!
University of East Anglia
The Politics of Fear is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the rise of right wing populist parties across Europe. It combines a rich overview of politics with penetrating language analysis. Through examination of texts from a range of media - including cartoons, posters and facebook postings - Ruth Wodak raises our awareness of the full range of populist rhetorical strategies. The author who is a renowned authority in the field enhances the accessibility of this elegantly crafted account through 15 'vignettes': case studies of specific instances of right wing populist discourse.
University of the West of England
In this very timely book, Ruth Wodak uncovers the ideological and rhetorical strategies of the contemporary radical right. The clever design of vignettes permits Wodak to dig deeply into carefully selected case studies, thereby providing details to the overall themes that are outlined in the book. This should be required reading for everyone interested in what is going on today in European politics and beyond.
Professor Wodak's new book continues a long and eminent trajectory of research on racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and patriarchy. This specific book is especially timely because it describes and explains in great detail the discursive and social mechanisms of the growing influence of extremist right-wing ideologies, policies and politics in Europe. This is Critical Discourse Analysis at its best.
Teun A van Dijk
Pompeu Fabra University
London [u.a.], Sage Publ.
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