What is meant by affective dimension of populism? Starting from the "anatomical model" proposed by Pierre Rosanvallon, every populist political culture is characterized by some specific elements, including the presence of a regime of passions and emotions. This proposal focuses on the analysis of the role played by a specific emotion that is nostalgia. It is considered as an extremely complex emotional condition which can contain in itself a set of mixed emotions. Is not a negative or positive emotion in an absolute sense, but it assumes different connotations according to the contexts and depending on how it is used (Boym 2001). How do nostalgia and populist politics relate? The present analysis aims to investigate this affective aspect of populism, deepening the link that holds together emotions, politics and time. Some recent studies have found a situation of “global nostalgia” which has had several implications for democracy and politics. In the last years, the various forms of populism use nostalgia as an essential tool of their narration, exploiting its affective potential. How is nostalgia used in populist discourse? Holding together studies of political theory and social psychology, this proposal focuses on the role of nostalgia in the construction of identity dynamics, at the individual and collective level, and on its role in political and social mobilization. Particular attention will be given to the European context, characterized by populisms also extremely different from each other. In this sense, are there differences between right-wing populism and left-wing populism? Svetlana Boym explains the ambivalence of the nostalgic phenomenon through the difference between “restorative nostalgia” and “reflective nostalgia”: the first proposes the image of a past to be recovered to cope with the decadence of the present, as a glorious time to be restored; the second, instead, accept the past as such and acts in a progressive and optimistic way towards the future. Taking account of these differences, much of the literature on the subject seems to agree in recognizing the affective power of nostalgia especially in right-wing populism. Right-wing populism promotes a narrative of a world in crisis due to economic, moral and cultural problems (Inglehart & Norris, 2016; Taggart, 2004, p. 275). After having underlined the different link with the past and the different affective investment, the following proposal intends to focus on the strategies of populist radical right (PRR) parties of Europe and on the emotions aroused by their use of nostalgia. What does nostalgia bring about in right-wing populism? What are the most used emotions and what do they represent for democracies?

Emotional narratives. Populism and nostalgia in Europe

Martina Insero
2022

Abstract

What is meant by affective dimension of populism? Starting from the "anatomical model" proposed by Pierre Rosanvallon, every populist political culture is characterized by some specific elements, including the presence of a regime of passions and emotions. This proposal focuses on the analysis of the role played by a specific emotion that is nostalgia. It is considered as an extremely complex emotional condition which can contain in itself a set of mixed emotions. Is not a negative or positive emotion in an absolute sense, but it assumes different connotations according to the contexts and depending on how it is used (Boym 2001). How do nostalgia and populist politics relate? The present analysis aims to investigate this affective aspect of populism, deepening the link that holds together emotions, politics and time. Some recent studies have found a situation of “global nostalgia” which has had several implications for democracy and politics. In the last years, the various forms of populism use nostalgia as an essential tool of their narration, exploiting its affective potential. How is nostalgia used in populist discourse? Holding together studies of political theory and social psychology, this proposal focuses on the role of nostalgia in the construction of identity dynamics, at the individual and collective level, and on its role in political and social mobilization. Particular attention will be given to the European context, characterized by populisms also extremely different from each other. In this sense, are there differences between right-wing populism and left-wing populism? Svetlana Boym explains the ambivalence of the nostalgic phenomenon through the difference between “restorative nostalgia” and “reflective nostalgia”: the first proposes the image of a past to be recovered to cope with the decadence of the present, as a glorious time to be restored; the second, instead, accept the past as such and acts in a progressive and optimistic way towards the future. Taking account of these differences, much of the literature on the subject seems to agree in recognizing the affective power of nostalgia especially in right-wing populism. Right-wing populism promotes a narrative of a world in crisis due to economic, moral and cultural problems (Inglehart & Norris, 2016; Taggart, 2004, p. 275). After having underlined the different link with the past and the different affective investment, the following proposal intends to focus on the strategies of populist radical right (PRR) parties of Europe and on the emotions aroused by their use of nostalgia. What does nostalgia bring about in right-wing populism? What are the most used emotions and what do they represent for democracies?
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1657206
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