Traditional Values in the Discourse of the French Populist Radical Right: The Case of the National Rally

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The migration crisis has become a trigger activating radical right-wing forces and movements. Contemporary right-wing forces, seeking to distinguish themselves from extremist right-wing movements, are resorting to populism, updating their political agenda: they use traditional conservative values in their rhetoric, but give them a new interpretation. In particular, the traditional values are complemented by gender equality and minority rights. The article analyses the transformation of the right-wing family agenda in the new social and political context, based on the conceptualisation of radical right-wing populism by H.-G. Betz and C. Mudde. The author considers the case of the French National Rally, examining the speeches of party leaders, party programmes and media materials through discourse analysis. The author identifies two trends: (1) since the 1980s, the traditional anti-migrant rhetoric of the right has been extended to include the family agenda, and the category of family as the core of the nation was gradually transformed into a tool to protect the nation from external influence; (2) party renewal under the leadership of Marine Le Pen entailed the updating of the family agenda to include protection of women’s rights, the modern interpretation of family, actualization of issues of European and national identity, including the interpretation of the women’s role as active protectors of national identity. In the author’s view, this process fits into the overall efforts of right-wing radicals to move into the political mainstream and the emergence of right-wing populism.

About the authors

Ekaterina S. Burmistrova

Perm State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4418-8557

Lecturer at Department of History and Archeology

Perm, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Burmistrova E.S.

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