Date of Award

5-4-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

International Affairs

First Advisor

Pushkala Prasad

Abstract

In a climate of intensifying globalization, the rise of political parties and leaders that espouse xenophobic ideas challenges the ability of the nation-state to live up to multicultural ideals. Such parties and their leadership prey on the fears of those of those who are part of the national majority group by claiming that “outsiders” entering or within the country pose a threat to their well-being and the sanctity of their national identity. While many scholars have analyzed xenophobic parties within specific countries or regions, few have sought to find commonalities over regional and cultural boundaries. This paper analyzes three contemporary instances in which xenophobic sentiments have become popular among right-wing party leaders from across the globe. Through analyzing the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, Viktor Orban in Hungary, and Narendra Modi in India, it provides insight into which circumstances allow for xenophobic rhetoric to become popular within right-wing parties. It demonstrates that while each country has a unique historical background, the rise of right-wing parties with xenophobic sentiments can broadly be interpreted as resulting from a combination of charismatic leadership with a perceived cultural/economic crisis, pressure from outside groups, and disillusionment over the policies or system represented by previous liberal leaders

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