Party-level euroscepticism of the radical populist political parties in the european union member states: the cases of the united kingdom independence party (UKİP) and the coalition of the radical left (SYRİZA)

Özbey, Ebru Ece
In this thesis, I investigate the strategic and ideological aspects of the Euroscepticisms of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) as examples of radical populist parties which have been on the rise in Europe for the last three decades –especially since the 2014 European Parliamentary elections. I contest the way these parties are represented in media and academia, which is often alarmist and devoid of nuance, and claim that deeming these parties as a threat to the European integration without considering their historical and ontological differences is a capital mistake, as these parties’ perceptions of and expectations from the European integration are often very diverse. In order to reveal the specific elements of each parties’ Euroscepticism, I first examine their radicalism and populism both as an ideology and as a way of political communication. Then, I disintegrate the parties’ discourses on the European issue into four dimensions, Economic, Political, Cultural, and Legal and three categories, Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Motivation. Pursuant to an in-depth analysis of the selected parties’ and leaders’ Eurosceptic rhetoric, I demonstrate that while SYRIZA and UKIP share some similarities with regard to their strategic considerations, their ideological inheritances rigorously separatethem in terms of their stances vis-à-vis the European Union. In conclusion, I assert that the former is critical of the Union’s current status but eager to take part in the integration with a more supranational nature, but the latter rejects to be involved in such an integration and calls for withdrawal from the Union.  


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Citation Formats
E. E. Özbey, “Party-level euroscepticism of the radical populist political parties in the european union member states: the cases of the united kingdom independence party (UKİP) and the coalition of the radical left (SYRİZA),” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.