Populism in Political Discourses: The Language of Power and the Power of Language.

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 10:30-12:20
RC25 Language and Society (host committee)

Language: English

Populism in political discourse on the current refugee crises is not only a characteristic feature of right-wing political parties. Recent left-wing political movements, such as Podemos in Spain or Syriza in Greece, are known to have been inspired by Ernesto Laclau’s (2005) work that reclaims the importance of ’populism’ for a democratic politics against austerity policies while explicitly opposing xenophobia, racism, sexism and white supremacy that are dominant ideologies in right-wing populist discourses. This panel calls for papers that will expose the right wing logic of stigmatization through the comparative analysis of activist mobilzations that goes beyond a humanitarian discourse and speak from the perspective of a non-violent (in Levinas's sense) ethic in order to acknowledge the refugees' agency. The papers are invited to compare populism as one form of totalizing politics that is imagined to channel and manage citizens’ already defined sets of interests (in right-wing political discourses) and the alternative from Lacalau speaks about that seeks to overcome the negativity of the social by building a sense of ’we’ through the analysis of the discoursal articulation of this 'we' around what Laclau in another paper (1998) calls 'empty signifiers'.
Session Organizer:
Erzsebet BARAT, University of Szeged, Hungary
Oral Presentations
Distributed Papers
Debating Blasphemy: Positioning and Power Dynamics in Emotive Face-to-Face Interaction
Peter RICHARDSON, Hokkaido University, Japan; Miori NAGASHIMA, Hokkaido University, Japan; Masako WADA, Hokkaido University, Japan; Makoto WATANABE, Hokkaido Bunkyo University, Japan; Stephen PIHLAJA, Newman University, United Kingdom; Baramee KHEOVICHAI, Silpakorn University, Indonesia