The 2015 refugee ‘crisis’ posed a dilemma for European radical-right parties (RRPs). On the one hand, it provided a rallying point against immigration, an issue for which these parties have traditionally claimed ownership. On the other hand, it forced them to propose European solutions, in particular by toughening EU border control and asylum policy. This paper argues that following the 2015 events RRPs distanced themselves from hard Euroscepticism on border control and asylum policy and participated in the political production of exclusionary Europeanness. I perform a theory-testing analysis of campaign pledges, between-election rhetoric and—when in government—policy positions of the French Rassemblement National, the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) and the Italian Lega. I demonstrate that these three RRPs are engaged in the political production of exclusionary Europeanness along three dimensions: political representation, institutionalisation, and collective identity.
Moutselos, M. (2023). Exclusionary Europeans: Radical-right party construction of Europeanness in response to the 2015 refugee ‘crisis.’ Comparative European Politics, 21(3), 400–417. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41295-023-00333-9