Dieter Rucht - Right-Populist Identity Construc...
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Dieter Rucht - Right-Populist Identity Construction and Concepts of the Enemy
One core element of the right-populist identity construction is drawing a line between the own collectivity (ethnicity, nation-state, Occident, etc.) and "foreigners" who are perceived to be the root of various threats and evils. Against that backdrop, right populists claim to represent authentic will of "the people". However, they can hardly ignore the existence of domestic opponents or even "enemies" such as the ruling class, the elites, the "old parties", and the Left, the uncommitted, etc. To the extent that right-populist mark such boundaries, they risk to be perceived as a minority. In reaction to this, they are caught in a dilemma. Either they elevate themselves as a bold but small vanguard with the risk of becoming sectarian; or they weaken their identity construction to appeal to the broader populace with the risk of becoming more fragmented and eventually falling apart.