«Мы, защитники наций и свобод». Как европейские правые популисты конструируют идентичности (случай «Национального объединения»)
The article explores how the EU populist radical right in opposition to its national governments uses the concept of rights and freedoms when constructing identities. The research is based on a discourse analysis of speeches given by the leader of the French Rassemblement National Marine Le Pen in the run-up to the 2019 European parliamentary elections. The analysis of discursive strategies employed in these texts allows to empirically demonstrate and elaborate some of the existing theories on key ideological and discursive features of the populist radical right and its positions on rights and freedoms. It also shows, however, that these models need to be reviewed or altered in a number of aspects. The research corresponds to the existing models as it shows the opposition the Self vs. the Other to be one of the central elements in the populist radical right discourse. For instance, when speaking about rights and freedoms, Marine Le Pen constructs the identity of the French people and European peoples by opposing them to the negative Other along two axes: vertically – by constructing a populist opposition to the elites - and horizontally – by constructing a nativist opposition to alien identities. The people is predicated to possess various rights, the Rassemblement National is represented as the defender of these rights, while the elites and the aliens are depicted as a threat to these rights. Yet, these oppositions are not always clearly articulated with numerous ‘grey zones’ systematically constructed: the research demonstrates that the depiction of some actors in a positive or negative way depends on context. The European identity constructed by the populist radical right is also ambivalent: it is not completely rejected although the ongoing European integration project – the EU – is reproached for infringing rights and freedoms. In general, the analysis allows to conclude that the populist radical right in the EU should be regarded as an active contester in the ongoing interpretive struggle over the concept of rights and freedoms rather than its enemy.