A Critical Discourse Analysis of the impact of settler colonialism on populist environmental policy
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Right-wing western style populism has been increasing in popularity in certain parts of the world (Europe, North America, Australia) recently. However, there has been little research done on the environmental policies of right wing populist political parties, as these parties typically prioritize other issues such as immigration and security. Rightwing populism has a lot of similarities to ideals of postcolonialism, as they both resist foreign control of domestic matters. This research will attempt to answer to what degree are themes of postcolonialism present in right-wing populist party environmental policies and do the relative strengths of these themes between the parties reflect a difference between settler vs. colonial nations. A critical discourse analysis will be undertaken to try and answer this. This analysis will be done through a populist lens to allow a more accurate representation of the will of the people regarding environmental policy, either in the presence or absence of a settler colonial history and its associated structures. Four right-wing populist political parties were analyzed, and the amount of themes confirming and/or countering postcolonialism in their policies and speeches were recorded and compared relative to each other. The settler colonial history of the party’s respective countries was also considered in this analysis. It was determined that the French Front National party showed the greatest presence of themes countering postcolonialism in their policies/speeches, followed by the British UKIP. The Australian One Nation party showed the greatest presence of themes confirming postcolonialism in their policies/speeches, followed by the Canadian Wildrose party. It was found that the parties from settler nations (Australia and Canada) showcased a greater presence of themes confirming postcolonialism than the parties from colonial nations (Britain and France).