Conceptual and Methodological issues in coding FN’s economic manifestos
Workshop on “What's Left of the Radical Right”
2015-01-19 / 2015-01-21
Front national, Economic positions, Policy, Manifesto analysis, Salience, Methods
This paper looks at economic issues in FN manifestos across three main aspects of salience, position and variance. It describes the concepts, data and methodology employed for the systematic content analysis of FN programmes. The focus is on an original dataset compiled from the party’s socio-economic manifestos since the early 1980s, and how it can be combined with the data provided by the Comparative Manifesto Project (CMP) for party system contextualization. The operationalization of the economic dimension in this paper follows the classic model of polarity between the state and market. Kitschelt (1994) defines this opposition as a conflict between ‘socialist’ and ‘capitalist’ economics.To test first changes in FN economic salience strategy, this paper uses the Comparative Manifesto Project (CMP) data for France. Then, to examine the FN’s economic positions, we use an original collection of data based on a directional content analysis of the party’s manifestos since 1981. This second dataset elaborates on the principles of the ‘confrontational’ approach to manual content analysis (Pellikaan et al. 2003, Kriesi et al. 2006).