Back to the Future or Forwards to the Past? Nostalgia and National Populism in the US and the UK
Eijnden, Boukje van den
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An appeal to nostalgia has been a salient feature of national populism in both the United States and the United Kingdom in recent years. This study offers a comprehensive analysis of the way in which Donald Trump in his 2015 Presidential campaign and the Brexiteers in the 2016 European referendum campaign employed nostalgia to gain support. This will be done through a discourse analysis of the evocation of three forms of nostalgia: the nostalgic heartland (the longing for an exclusionary sense of home), nostalgic deprivation (feelings of loss and deprivation in various areas), and nostalgic restoration (an attempt to restore an idealised past version of the country). After a discussion of secondary literature, the quantitative results of the discourse analysis will be evaluated with a qualitative approach. This novel bottom-up study into nostalgia and populism will lead to valuable insights into the relation between nostalgia and national populist movements.