The Right-Wing Perspective: Populist Frames and Agenda on Facebook in Central and Eastern Europe
Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
ABSTRACT: Political and public debates unfolding online provide various spaces for interaction between political actors, citizens and media outlets. This environment can be employed for diverse agendas, frames and biases, especially within populist narratives. This work examines the discourse of Central and Eastern European right-wing populists from Austria, Germany, Hungary and Poland (2015-2021). To identify discursive patterns within public Facebook posts (n=192,057) by 31 party, movement and partisan news media pages, created by API interrogation, right-wing discourse is analyzed through semi-automated quantitative content analysis based on text mining, in conjunction with qualitative content analysis of messages that generated the highest engagement-rates (n=80). Key findings indicate both national and international narrative patterns with a focus on political, social and ethnic opponents, by incorporating Engesser et al.’s (2017) core elements of right-wing populist discourse within Master Populist Frame building (Heinisch & Mazzoleni, 2017), thus marking the contemporary agenda of European right-wing discourse.