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    ‘Post-fascism’, or how the far right talks about itself: the 2022 Italian election campaign as a case study

    Brown, Katy and Newth, George (2024) ‘Post-fascism’, or how the far right talks about itself: the 2022 Italian election campaign as a case study. Critical Discourse Studies. pp. 1-21. ISSN 1740-5904

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    While the mainstreaming of the far right is attracting growing scholarly interest based on its contemporary relevance, the role that far-right self-representation strategies play in this process has seen limited engagement. In this article, we argue that far-right actors employ a post-fascist logic to bring their ideas closer to the mainstream. This logic rests on a dual message, whereby they attempt to outwardly distance themselves from fascism while at the same time recontextualising fascist ideas. To explore these dynamics, we use a mixed-methods approach to discourse analysis to examine far-right social media posts during the 2022 Italian general election. Taking all Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts during the official campaigning period from the party and leader accounts of Lega per Salvini Premier and Fratelli d’Italia, we explored articulations of the post-fascist dyad within this context. Our findings underscore how both far-right parties ridiculed accusations of fascism and depicted themselves as ‘centre-right’, yet they commonly used fascist dog-whistles and violent anti-immigration discourse to construct a broader conspiracy narrative and portray themselves as Italy's saviour. While Italy proves a paradigmatic case, this research has wider implications for the need to explore the relationship between self-representation and mainstreaming.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: post-fascism; far right; social media; discourse; Italy;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of English, Media & Theatre Studies > Media Studies
    Item ID: 18388
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr Katy Brown
    Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2024 10:47
    Journal or Publication Title: Critical Discourse Studies
    Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Irish Research Council
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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