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Syllabus Right Wing Populism in Europe - 54855
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Last update 18-09-2019
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: European Studies

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Karin Bischof

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours: By prior arrangement

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Karin Bischof

Course/Module description:
The pivotal role of rhetoric for politics and political culture has been increasingly valued during the last decades – also in political science. The postwar European ‚New Right’ and its discursive strategies to pursuit cultural hegemony can be taken as one striking example for the effectiveness of political rhetoric. The course aims at identifying important common rhetorical features of right wing populists in Europe. It seeks to trace the rhetorical shift of meanings of democracy and its central notions such as ‚the people’ and people’s representation, and it focuses on central narratives of threat as well as of belonging, carving out also their affective dimension.

Course/Module aims:
The aim of the course is to analyze recurrent rhetorical features in European right wing populism including their underlying affective dimension. The course will provide insights into selected contemporary approaches to right wing populism and its definition, and it will deal with country specific manifestations of right wing populism as well.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
… the students should be able to identify recurrent rhetorical features of right wing populism, know about selected country-specific manifestations and about selected contemporary approaches to right wing populism.

Attendance requirements(%):

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: The teaching is organized as an overview of recurrent rhetorical features in European right wing populism, country specific manifestations as well as approaches and explanations. An introductory session will provide the students with background knowledge. Each session will deal with selected relevant thematic aspects. Some of the thematic aspects will be dealt with in (small group) presentations of students.

Course/Module Content:
16.3. Introduction

23.3. rhetorical features of right wing populism I – the people: double antagonism

30.3. rhetorical features of right wing populism II – the people and representation

20.4. film

4.5. rhetorical features of right wing populism – the people: intersectional views

11.5. country-specific manifestations

18.5. country-specific manifestations

25.5. country-specific manifestations

1.6. approaches and explanations I: right wing populism as shadow or representative democracy or threat?

8.6. approaches and explanations II: right wing populism as shadow or representative democracy or threat?

15.6. right wing populism and social structure

22.6. film

29.6. final reflections

Required Reading:
- Ajanovic, Edma/ Stefanie Mayer/ Birgit Sauer (2018). Constructing ‚the people‘. An intersectional analysis of right-wing concepts of democracy and citizenship in Austria, in: Journal of Language and Politics, 17(5).
- Canovan Margret (2005). The People. Cambridge, UK: Polity
- Canovan, Margret (2002). Taking politics to the people: populism as the ideology of democracy. In Democracies and the Populist Challenge, ed. Y Mény, Y Surel, pp. 25–44. Oxford, UK: Palgrave
Mudde, Cas/ Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser (eds.) (2013). Populism in Europe and the Americas. Threat or Corrective for Democracy? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mudde Cas (2004). The populist zeitgeist. Gov. Opposition 39(3):541–63
- Mueller, Jan Werner (2016). What is Populism? What is Populism? Philadelphia: UPenn Press.
- Priester, Karin (2018). ‘Right-wing Populism in Europe.’ In Populism, Populists, and the Crisis of Political Parties. A Comparison of Italy, Austria, and Germany 1990-2015, edited by Pallaver, Günther/Gehler, Michael/Cau, Maurizio, 45-61. Bologna und Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.

Urbinati Nadia (2017). Populism and the principle of majority. In The Oxford Handbook of Populism, ed.
Wodak, Ruth (2015). The politics of fear,
Wodak, Ruth/ Michal Krzyzanowski (2017). Introduction. Right-wing populism in Europe & USA, in: Journal of Language and Politics 16(4), 471-484.

Additional Reading Material:
To be announced

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 40 %
Presentation 30 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 30 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Percent of Final Grade
End of year written examination 40%
Presentation to the class 30%
Assignments (Summary of text) 30%
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.