What is right-wing populism and how does it manifest itself? An analysis of the French National Front’s Facebook posts and sympathizers’ Facebook comments

  • Daniel StockemerEmail author
Data, measures and methods


Populism as a theme is omnipresent in the academic literature. Debates in the field include the definition of populism, the populist voter, and the link between populism and democracy. Yet, few studies tackle the question of how populist parties present themselves. Focusing on the typical populist radical right-wing party, the Front National (FN), I examine which of the features of right-wing populism such as peoples’ centrism, anti-elitism, charismatic leadership, or nationalism, to name a few, are dominant in the official communications and in sympathizers’ discourse. I do this based on an analysis of all Facebook posts by this party and comments by supporters for the past 9 years. In terms of populist features, I find that the cult of personality is the defining feature that the FN has built around her leader; it is also this feature that distinguishes the FN from the mainstream parties in France. In fact, the FN couples the personality cult around Marine Le Pen with nationalism. When it comes to other populist themes such as peoples’ centrism or anti-Europeanism, these topics are not at the center of FN communications.


Populism Front National France Marine Le Pen 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Political StudiesUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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