The radical right-wing populist discourse in Romania: 2010-2011 and 2015-2016

  • Andrei Pantu

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


This thesis analyzes, compares and contrasts two different populist discourses in current-day Romania. Following the classification of Hans-Georg Betz, who identified 'populist nationalism' and 'neoliberal populism' as the two main versions of radical right-wing populism, this article identifies the two most representative institutions in Romania as 'In Linie Dreapta' and the magazine 'Romania Mare.' The thesis concentrates on their discourses, more specifically, on their islamophobia, and analyzes it in the context of the current neoliberal hegemony by looking at their manifestos and at some of their most representative articles over a timespan of two years. In order to do so, the thesis departs from a historical materialist perspective, more specifically, from a Gramscian systemic analysis of the current crisis. Throughout this thesis, I briefly discuss some of the already existing literature on populism, neoliberalism and islamophobia in order to clarify to some extent the meaning of these terms and to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms which favored the rise of these two versions of radical right-wing populism: 'populist nationalism' and 'neoliberal populism', and I identify the Gramscian term 'Caesarism' as appropriate for understanding the situation in which a radical right-wing populist force may rise. By analyzing the islamophobic discourses of a 'populist nationalist' and a 'neoliberal populist' institution, I try to obtain conclusions about their similarities and differences, which may be significant not only for current day Romania, but also for postcommunist Europe as a whole.
Date of Award1 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGreig Charnock (Supervisor) & Stuart Shields (Supervisor)


  • nationalism
  • populism
  • islamophobia
  • Gramsci
  • neoliberalism

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