Textual Analysis of Populist Discourse in 2014/2015 Presidential Election in Croatia

By: 
  • Marijana Grbeša,
  • Berto Šalaj
Populism has been vastly present in Croatian media discourse as a common point of reference but it has been almost completely left out from scientific inquiry. Building on the premise that populism is reflected in communication practices of politicians, parties and movements, this paper uses content analysis to examine interviews of the four presidential candidates during election campaign in Croatia in 2014 (first round) and 2015 (second round). We apply a two-level approach to measure populism on two distinct but related levels - as a thin-centered political ideology and as a political communication style. Populism as ideology is examined through the presence of positive references to the people, relationship to political elites and references to ‘dangerous others’.