Rhetorical-Performative Analysis of the Urban Symbolic Landscape: Populism in Action

  • Emilia Palonen
Part of the Postdisciplinary Studies in Discourse book series (PSDS)


This chapter introduces a rhetorical-performative analysis as a tool for exploring urban symbolic landscape and populism and hence deals with relationality and materiality from the postfoundational perspective. It connects the articulation theory of cultural theorists Stuart Hall or political theorists Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe and spatial analysis of cultural geographer Doreen Massey to the study of populism. The case of Hungary shows how political frontiers have been articulated in the public space, contestable interpretations of the past are deliberately used and key symbolic urban landscapes transformed radically to articulate a political ‘us’—and ‘them.’ In the 2010s, in the Hungarian capital Budapest, the top-down process transforming urban space faced bottom-up movements which reproduce the populist logic of articulation.


Hungary Populism Ernesto Laclau Cultural politics Urban culture 



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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilia Palonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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