Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

“Nazis Aren’t Welcome Here”: Selling Democracy in the Age of Far-Right Extremism

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Abstract:  This article critically examines the communicative and policy-framing response of Australia’s Victorian government to the state’s growing crisis of far-right extremism. Through a critical discourse analysis of the Victorian Andrews and Allan Labor governments’ political communication from 2021 to 2023, we explain how the government discursively responded to the rise of far-right extremism. We found the Andrews and Allan governments employed a range of communicative, discursive, and legitimisation strategies to both legitimise the government’s policy to ban Nazi symbols and gestures and to (re)establish Victoria’s reputation as an inclusive and multicultural liberal democracy. The findings of this article broaden our empirical understanding of the central role of political and crisis communication in responding to extremism and may provide a template for other governments to respond to the global crisis of far-right extremism.

Keywords:  Australia; crisis communication; democracy; extremism; far right; policy framing; public sphere

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.7853


© Kurt Sengul, Jordan McSwiney. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.