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Danish Xenophobia - Power Logic in Motion
Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2007 (English)In: Irregular Migration, Informal labour and Community: A Challenge for Europe / [ed] E. Berggren, B.Likic-Brboric, N Trimikliniotis, G. Tokzös, Maastricht, Netherlands: Shaker Publishing, 2007, 372-390 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

 This essay asks how one can understand the radicalisation of Danish politics in a xenophobic direction, the ascendancy to power of the extreme right-wing party, Dansk Folkeparti (DF), its electoral successes and its collaboration with the conservative-liberal government that won the election, with support from DF, in 2001. In focus stands the hostile attitude towards immigrants and refugees in political discourse and in new legislation and the strong emphasis on the primacy, preservation and care for everything -Danish,- which the liberal-conservative Government and its allies have placed at the center of Danish politics. The question is raised, and the argument is made, that this xenophobic turn in politics can be understood as -fascism-, as it has been conceptualized in recent years. This entails a critical discussion also of a concept more commonly used, namely -populism-. I argue that if we instead of ideological content focus on populism, as Ernesto Laclau has suggested, as a style and logic of articulation, the power securing strategy comes into view and the closeness to fascism surface. Then we can see that many key-issues in danish politics today are rooted in classical fascist ideas such as organic nationalism, anti-elitism, racism and rebirth, but more importantly, that there is ground for such a strong charge considering the power-securing strategies: the mild forms of -cleansing- by silencing criticism and expelling foreigners, the popular -anti-elitist- rhetoric, the aggressive style and the intense work for changing all legislation dealing with immigrants and asylum in a restrictive direction. A conclusion is that one must look at the xenophobic and extremist political development as the result of a long-standing conscious and energetically forwarded pursuit, together with succesful alliances and tottering resistance and acquiescence rather than as mere political opportunism, an electoral -accident- or, as fascists have it, as the true voice of the people. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Maastricht, Netherlands: Shaker Publishing, 2007. 372-390 p.
Keyword [en]
Migration, irregular migration, ethnicity, integration, populism, welfare regimes, informal labour, Europe
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-38845Local ID: 45860ISBN: 978-90-423-0317-1ISBN: 904-23-0317-4OAI: diva2:259694
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2013-07-10

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Berggren, Erik
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REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and SocietyDepartment of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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