Ruth Wodak (Univ. of Vienna/Lancaster Univ.): "The Politics of Fear: European and Transatlantic Perspectives"

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
4:00PM-6:00PM, New Cabell Hall 236

Since 1989 and the Fall of the Iron Curtain, far-right and right-wing populist parties have been gaining traction. Some parties go back to the end of WWII, such as the Austrian Freedom Party (then VdU) founded 1949; or the French Front National, founded 1972. Despite many differences, their ideologies share important dimensions, such as a dichotomous view of society merging anti-elitism with a nativist nationalistic anti-pluralism, the need for protecting the fatherland, and the belief in a common narrative of the past. Moreover, conspiracies are a salient part of the discursive construction of fear which frequently draws on traditional antisemitic, anti-elitist, and anti-intellectualist tropes. The lecture will elaborate briefly on the history of right-wing populist parties while focusing primarily on their mediatization and discursive strategies of provocation, calculated ambivalence, de-tabooization and scandalization which have paved the way for “post-truth” and “post-shame politics.”