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Pytlas, Bartek ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2399-2826 (2020): Hijacking Europe: Counter-European Strategies and Radical Right Mainstreaming during the Humanitarian Crisis Debate 2015-16*. In: Jcms-Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 59, No. 2: pp. 335-353 [PDF, 844kB]


Radical right European contestation is analyzed mainly as claims denouncing European integration. Less focus is put on narratives suggesting how a supposed 'truly European' political process should be and work. This paper explores how radical right actors use such counter-European claims within their competition strategies. Computer-assisted qualitative analysis of communication by Front National, Alternative for Germany and Fidesz during the humanitarian crisis debate 2015-16 demonstrates that radical right counter-Europeanism constitutes a nuanced tactical resource deployed to normalize nativist supply in the name of Europe. Unlike Eurorejectionist FN, Fidesz and AfD redefined Europe in nativist terms, attempting to draw legitimacy from association with European identity and cooperation. Concurrently, both actors justified Euronativism not only as antithetical to current EU values and political principles, but mainly as their more fundamental practice juxtaposed against 'not (truly) European elites', effectively 'hijacking' Europe from within. The findings deepen our understanding of radical right Europe-contesting competition strategies.

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