Possibly Performative Populism Within the Sweden Democrats : A Content Analysis of the Speeches of Jimmie Åkesson
Sammanfattning: This thesis aims to examine if performative populism exists within the Sweden Democrats and if the level of populism has changed over time. By using a gradational approach when conceptualising populism, it seeks to address a case of ‘mixed bags’. Furthermore, this paper address questions regarding how to measure populism and how to operationalise populism into context. Populism is conceptualised as a political style, according to Benjamin Moffitt’s work on populism. Thus, the performative side of the leader is central. This includes content, rhetoric, gestures and the theatrical side of the leader’s performance. By using a twofold methodological approach, a quantitative content analysis, followed by a qualitative one, both frequency of populist indications and how they relate to each other can be accounted for. Results indicate that populism exists within the Sweden Democrats, and that the level of populism seems to be increasing over time. Moreover, while the methodological approach is sufficient for measuring the level in terms of less and more, it cannot account for degree in terms of index.
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