University of Limerick
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The transnational patriot: celebrating cultural diversity between nation-states while promoting hostility toward diversity within nation-states

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-18, 14:47 authored by Alastair Nightingale, Orla T. Muldoon, Michael Quayle
This article explores how the populist radical right manage identity talk on an international stage. Speeches from the Europe of Nations and Freedom conference held in Koblenz, Germany, on January 21, 2017, were analyzed using a rhetorical and critical discursive psychology approach. This occasion was a celebratory public display of international solidarity between political actors who privilege national interests, advocate stronger immigration control and are Eurosceptic. Results highlight two interdependent rhetorical strategies that construct an inclusive diverse transnational political community, built on the core shared ideology of exclusionary nationalist nativism. Firstly, “Constructing the Transnational Patriot” works up a superordinate political category often labeled the “patriots” that transcends individual nation-states. Temporal and spatial boundary work was done to construct the political collective as extensive, expanding and enduring. This capacity for the speakers to position themselves as prototypical members of a transnational political community facilitates and demands the second rhetorical strategy, “Ambivalent Diversity.” Here speakers acknowledge and celebrate the cultural diversity of their political collective through a precious “national diversity” between nation-states while simultaneously displaying hostility to cultural diversity within nation-states. Speakers present themselves, and their political collective, as courageous protectors of the segregated national diversity against the threatening collusion between the violent oppressive political “elite” and exploitative immigrants. The speakers hijack the liberal understanding of diversity and reconfigure it in support of an argument defending the victimized majority and national cultural homogeneity.


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European Psychologist;26, pp. 45-54


Hogrefe [Commercial Publisher] EFPA [Associate Organisation]



Other Funding information

IRC, European Union (EU), Horizon 2020, ERC



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