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Towards a ‘civic’ narrative: British national identity and the transformation of the British National Party

Halikiopoulou, D. and Vasilopoulou, S. (2010) Towards a ‘civic’ narrative: British national identity and the transformation of the British National Party. Political Quarterly, 81 (4). pp. 583-592. ISSN 1467-923X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-923X.2010.02129.x

Abstract/Summary

This article examines the ways in which the BNP utilises the elements of British national identity in its discourse and argues that, during Griffin's leadership, the party has made a discursive choice to shift the emphasis from an ethnic to a civic narrative. We put forward two hypotheses, 1: the modernisation of the discourse of extreme right parties in the British context is likely to be related to the adoption of a predominantly civic narrative and 2: in the context of British party competition the BNP is likely to converge towards UKIP, drawing upon elements of its perceived winning formula, i.e. a predominantly civic rhetoric of national identity. We proceed to empirically test our hypotheses by conducting a twofold comparison. First, we compare the BNP's discourse pre- and post-1999 showing the BNP's progressive adoption of a civic narrative; and second the BNP's post-1999 discourse to that of UKIP in order to illustrate their similarities in terms of civic values.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:31506
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell

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