Politicizing Europe on the far right: Anti-EU mobilization across the party and non-party sector in France
Social Movement Studies
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Politicization, far right, social movements, political parties, contentious politics, eu
This article examines public contestation of Europe by the far right in France. It investigates whether far-right mobilization on the EU has changed over time, and how it diverges in the party and non-party sectors. Specifically, we follow a politicization approach and address mobilization in terms of three interrelated dimensions: intensity, issue focus, and action repertoire. This allows comparing collective action in the electoral and protest arenas, thus assessing how the far right politicizes Europe in public debates. The study relies on a mixed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the content of the press releases posted by far-right parties and movements on their official websites, scraped automatically from 2012 to 2019. The results show that European integration is increasingly at the core of far-right politics in France, but its politicization unfolds in different ways in the protest and electoral arenas. As political conflict over the EU expands, far-right parties and non-party actors are challenged to differentiate their respective profiles. These findings complement existing research on the linkages between protest and elections, and suggest that the rooting of the far right in society is reconfiguring the structure of political conflict in Europe.