Social Policy and Populism: welfare nationalism as the new narrative of social citizenship

Markus Ketola, Johan Nordensvard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter investigates the relationship between far-right populism and social policy. We argue that an approach anchored in framing and policy narratives will yield new understandings of how far-right populist discourses have come to challenge social democratic and neoliberal welfare narrative. This new narrative challenges and denigrates the economic and political elite as self-serving and corrupt, claiming to represent the interest of the ‘people’ instead. In defining ‘people’, the interests of certain societal groups are prioritised on the bases of culture or ethnicity. Importantly for social policy, we argue, in this universal social rights and social citizenship are reframed in ethno-nationalist and welfare chauvinist terms. In the chapter we draw upon the case of Sweden in order to briefly exemplify the discursive strategies in play.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Policy Review 30
Subtitle of host publicationAnalysis and debate in social policy, 2018
EditorsCatherine Needham, Elke Heins, James Rees
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4473-5001-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-4473-4999-0, 978-1-4473-5000-2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 4 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameSocial Policy Review
PublisherPolicy Press


  • Narrative
  • Social Policy
  • Populism
  • Welfare nationalism
  • Chauvinism


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