The Six Roles of the Anti-Immigration Parties in Scandinavian Immigration Press Debate 1970–2016



This article analyzes through qualitative content analysis what role the populist radical right parties have had in Scandinavian immigration debate in the press from 1970 to 2016. The press may highlight other dimensions of these parties’ relationship with the immigration issue than party programs and statements. I identify six distinct roles the parties have performed in the debate: the radical traditionalist, the deviant, the extremist, the powerful (against the little guy), the persecuted, and the policy innovator. Showing that the populist radical right parties are not just exchanging the same set of familiar arguments with their political opponents over and over again, this analysis adds to our understanding of how these parties debate immigration and the kinds of criticism they draw, and it shows that the immigration issue can actually lead to highly unfavorable media coverage that goes beyond their policy radicalism, which I suggest could hurt their electoral prospects.


Immigration debatePopulist radical right partiesAnti-immigration partiesImmigration press debateScandinavian immigration
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 3
  • Page/Article: 1–14
  • DOI: 10.33134/njmr.355
  • Submitted on 8 Jun 2020
  • Accepted on 8 Jun 2020
  • Published on 27 Aug 2020
  • Peer Reviewed