Extreme-right responses to the European economic crisis in Denmark and Sweden : the discursive construction of scape-goats and lodestars

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This article examines extreme-right online media as a site of discursive struggle over definitions of the causes, consequences and remedies of the European economic crisis. The authors focus on two Scandinavian countries, Denmark and Sweden, which have seen a rise in extreme-right activities across different arenas and in different media in the turbulent years since the collapse of global financial markets in 2008. Drawing on a discourse theoretical framework that builds on the work of Laclau and Mouffe (1985), the authors examine how the currently most active and visible extreme-right groups in these two countries understand and respond to the crisis as an opportunity to fuel anti-immigration discourses and prey on sentiments of instability and insecurity in the broader population, using online media to “involve members and supporters in the discursive construction of racism” (Atton 2006, 573). The analysis demonstrates how these groups look to Greece, as the “crisis epicentre”, for culturalist explanations for the Eurozone crisis and to the rise there of Golden Dawn as an inspiration for future mobilisations in Nordic and pan-European coalitions.


  • Tina Askanius
  • Yiannis Mylonas
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Media and Communications


  • European economic crisis, extreme-right activism, online media, cultural, racism, anti-public spheres, Denmark, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-72
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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Tina Askanius & Yiannis Mylonas


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