A Discourse-Historical Approach to Populism in the Right-Wing Discourse on Immigration

  •  Abdulfattah Omar    
  •  Wafya Ibrahim Hamouda    
  •  Mohammed Aldawsari    


This study is concerned with investigating the implications of the new nationalist and populist discourse of the far right-wing movements to immigration in different Arab countries, with a focus on Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan. For this purpose, the study is based on a corpus of different genres, including political speeches, newspaper articles, as well as social media posts and comics. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is used in order to explore speakers’ ideologies and how rhetoric and discursive strategies are employed to influence public opinion and persuade citizens about certain views and policies and even prompt them to take the desired action. Results indicate that the new nationalist and populist discourse adopted by different politicians and far right-wing parties and movements have negative impact on the rights of migrants and refugees in Arab countries. Migrants and refugees are used as scapegoats for political gains. They are blamed for all social, economic, and political challenges and crises these countries are suffering today. Right-wing movements are embedding some hidden ideologies in their political discourse that are related to the hate and rejection of migrants and refugees. It can also be concluded that the increasing popularity of anti-immigration movements and radical right-wing political leaders hint at the influence of the nationalist and populist discourse on the public opinion in their countries. Populist discourse has led to fear and rejection of the “Other”, and even to racist acts and xenophobia.

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