PODEMOS AND IMMIGRATION LEFT-WING POPULISM IN EUROPE
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In Europe, populist right-wing parties have gained significant popularity in the political sphere. The populists of these right-wing parties claim to speak for ‘the people’, while they are xenophobic, racist and exclusionary towards immigrants. On the other side of the political spectrum left-wing populist parties portray much less xenophobic, racist and exclusionary rhetoric towards immigrants. Especially the Spanish populist party Podemos maintains pro- immigrant policies and has an inclusionary attitude towards immigrants. This thesis investigates how the left-wing populism of Podemos has resulted in a more inclusionary political discourse towards immigrants. This is done by using the discursive approach to populism and analysing the political discourse of Podemos on immigration from 2014 until 2018. Populism is often perceived as a threat to democracy. In contrary, some scholars argue that populism can also have a positive effect on democracy. This thesis substantiates that argument by showing that more democratic forms of populism actually contribute to a more inclusive form of democracy by including groups of people who have been excluded from the democratic processes. To achieve this, the populist party Podemos is used as a case study.