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(Small) Enterpreneurs first!: Analysis of the economic discourse of the Vlaams Belang

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A large body of research on political parties is devoted to the family of extreme right parties. Yet, systematic analyses of extreme right parties' discourse remain scarce. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by providing a discourse analysis of the Vlaams Belang, one of the most successful extreme right-wing parties in Europe. Moreover, by focusing on this party's economic discourse, the study also sheds new light on the ongoing debate about the economic viewpoints of the new extreme right parties. We conclude that the Vlaams Belang's economic rhetoric is in line with its ethno-linguistic, nationalist standpoints and pleas for a Flemish economic policy. The party's economic programme is built on liberal points of view and seems particularly aimed at attracting (dissatisfied) liberal voters. Importantly, as economic issues remain subordinated to the party's ideological core, it appears that the Vlaams Belang has largely instrumentalised its programme to expand its electorate.
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Keywords: DISCOURSE; ECONOMIC PARTY MANIFESTO; EXTREME RIGHT PARTIES; FLANDERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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