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Populism and borders: tools for constructing “the people” and legitimizing exclusion

Olivas Osuna, José Javier ORCID: 0000-0002-9877-8480 (2022) Populism and borders: tools for constructing “the people” and legitimizing exclusion. Journal of Borderlands Studies. pp. 1-24. ISSN 0886-5655

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Identification Number: 10.1080/08865655.2022.2085140


This article argues theoretically and illustrates empirically that the “border” and “populism” are mutually constitutive concepts and should be considered as epistemic frameworks to understand each other. It compares quantitatively and qualitatively the electoral manifestos of four radical right parties —Vox, RN, UKIP, and Brexit Party—, and shows that borders are basic factors in the process of decontestation of “the people” and construction of exclusion-inclusion narratives. Likewise, this analysis exemplifies how (re)bordering claims are usually justified and articulated via populist discursive elements such as antagonism, morality, idealization of society, popular sovereignty and personalistic leadership. This article demonstrates that the border can become a method to study populism and vice versa and that cross-fertilization between the borders and populism literatures is desirable. Further research is needed to understand whether populists’ selective instrumentalization of borders and equivalential logic leads to a non-binary hierarchical “othering” and the emergence of a populist “meta-us”.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 31 May 2022 10:21
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 03:00

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