Shifting Identities in the Far Right: The National Front and Golden Dawn
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Far right political parties and social movements have been present in Europe since the beginning of the 20th century. After World War II, the far right dissipated into various individual movements on the political fringe and carried little to no electoral weight. However, the past two decades—marked by the sharp economic downturn of 2008, increased immigration, a refugee crisis, and social strains due to globalization—have ushered in unprecedented national and transnational electoral success for the far right. Two of these parties that fall under the “far right” umbrella are the National Front of France and Golden Dawn of Greece. Though the two parties run on similar party platforms and hold comparable ideologies, the extreme party Golden Dawn differs from the National Front in its relationship to violence as a means of achieving party goals and proposed policies, as well as in its promotion of fascist ideals. Despite these differences and years on the margins of politics, both of these parties are still enjoying electoral success today. My research focuses on analyzing the discourse used to frame the “self” and “other” in the National Front and Golden Dawn. Analyzing group identity in the far right gives insight into which identities are valued by the parties, how a shared identity is promoted, and how these parties are garnering continued electoral success over time. I maintain that the recent electoral success of far right parties—specifically, the National Front and Golden Dawn—can be further attributed to a successful fostering of collective identity within the movements.