Political Communication in perspective: Identifying the message of Radical Right Parties in Europe during the first decade of the 21st century: A comparative case study
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The thesis aims primarily to analyse the communication strategies of radical right parties. More specifically, the research examines three cases of radical right parties in Western Europe during the first decade of the twenty-first century with particular emphasis on the political communication along with marketing and branding techniques used to engage with the electorate to gain and maintain electoral support. These case studies comprise the Greek Popular Orthodox Rally (LA.O.S.), the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) and the Italian National Alliance (AN). Different forms of content analysis are used in order to pinpoint the characteristics that identify the parties as members of the radical right family. Through this approach the thesis provides evidence that the parties, in their effort to become more appealing to their audiences, avoid direct engagement with issues, which reflect traditional ideological tenets of the radical right issues such as fascism, racism or xenophobia. Rather, they attempt to present a more mainstream and competitive profile in the political arena. From a market-oriented perspective, the thesis addresses questions on marketing and related explanations which focus both on how the parties choose to communicate with the electorate, what is their message and, through comparative analysis, whether there are similarities in communication techniques among the three parties and whether it can be argued that parties in the radical right family project a common profile in terms of their communication strategies. Furthermore, the application of such an approach to the use of political communication techniques of the selected radical right parties can contribute to a wider understanding of how the concept of ‘consumption’ has come to be applied increasingly in activities undertaken in the political arena.
- Theses