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Gendering the European Parliament

Soft and Hard: Recent Czech Eurosceptic Partisan Landscape

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Comparative Politics
Political Parties
Petr Kaniok
Masaryk University
Petr Kaniok
Masaryk University
Vit Hloušek
Masaryk University

The paper will explore and explain the changing dynamics of the soft and hard Eurosceptic discourses in the case of Czech political parties. Based on the conventional content analysis and discourse analysis of the electoral manifesto´s of the Czech Eurosceptic as well as functionally pro-integration political parties, the authors will unravel and analyse the recent trends in the field. The analysis will discuss relative political marginality of the hard Eurosceptic stances which are typically (although not exclusive) matching the far-right political narratives employed by the far right parties on the fringes of the party system. Another interesting issue to discuss is the blurred line between soft Eurosceptic and pro-integration stances. The authors will therefore explain which phenomena contributed to such situation. Especially, the analysis will sort out the external impulses such as the crisis of the Eurozone or the refugee crisis and the reasons for changing discourses among Czech soft-Eurosceptic and functionally pro-European parties, which stem from the changing context of domestic politics. The recent trends will be set into comparison with the long-term patterns of the Czech Eurosceptic discourses. Finally, yet importantly, the authors will place and discuss the findings of the analysis within the context of the recent conceptual debates related to Euroscepticism, its definition and its various forms.
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