A “Europe des Nations”: Far right imaginative geographies and the politicization of cultural crisis on Twitter in Western Europe

Bharath Ganesh*, Caterina Froio

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Abstract

    Contestation over European integration has been widely studied in the rhetoric of parties, leaders, and movements on the far right in a variety of media. Focusing on Twitter use by far right actors in Western Europe, we apply corpus-aided discourse analysis to explore how imaginative geographies are used to politicize Europe among their digital publics. We find that the idea of a crisis of cultural identity pervades imaginaries of Europe amongst far right digital publics. While Europe is presented as facing a crisis of cultural identity, we find that the far right articulates an aspirational imaginary of Europe, the ‘Europe des Nations’ that rejects liberal-democratic pluralism in the EU and the ‘establishment’. We find that the contestation of Europe in far right digital publics relies on a crisis of cultural identity, representing a translation of Nouvelle Droite imaginaries of Europe into the social media space.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)715-732
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of European Integration
    Volume42
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3-Jul-2020

    Keywords

    • European integration
    • European imaginaries
    • far right
    • Twitter
    • nativism

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