The “refugee crisis” as an opportunity structure for right-wing populist social movements: The case of PEGIDA

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2021.02.016

Keywords:

PEGIDA, framing, refugee crisis, social movements, content analysis, right-wing populism, Islam

Abstract

Current research on right-wing populist communication is often confined to political parties, with social movements receiving much less attention. To help fill this research gap, we examine the frames and master frames of the PEGIDA movement and the role of the 2015 “refugee crisis” in shaping them. Using qualitative content analysis of speeches held at PEGIDA rallies between 2014 and 2016, we identify two distinct master frames, each consisting of five particular frames. Besides an initial master frame about the allegedly looming Islam- ization of Europe, a second master frame dealing with the Perils of Asylum emerge during the “crisis” – ultimately, both converge, with the latter incorporating central elements of the former. These findings buttress our interpretation of the “crisis” as an opportunity structure that helped right-wing populist social movements to revitalize their message and broaden their audience. However, its long-term impact still appears limited as PEGIDA’s influence has greatly waned in recent years.

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Published

2021-10-12

How to Cite

Bitschnau, M., Lichtenstein, D., & Fähnrich, B. (2021). The “refugee crisis” as an opportunity structure for right-wing populist social movements: The case of PEGIDA. Studies in Communication Sciences, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2021.02.016

Issue

Section

Thematic Section:Critical Perspectives on Migration in Discourse & Communication