This study investigates the role of populism in the growing prominence of the far-right and will address a research gap by specifically focusing on the Australian context – a national setting often overlooked in this field of study. A fresh approach is taken that seeks to understand the new far-right landscape in in terms of discourse, messaging and appeals, rather than trying to group together people and parties. This lens will be used to establish how three components of framing and disseminating far-right discourse have been crucial in the contemporary popularisation of far-right appeals. Firstly, the use of populism to mobilise the ethno-cultural majority who are feeling threatened and hostile due to historical, political and contextual factors. The fluid and pragmatic changing of discourses will then be identified as a decisive strategy in appealing to a wider audience, with specific consideration given to the far-right’s utilisation of Islamophobic messaging. The final component is the evolution and widespread dissemination of far-right messaging. It will be argued that the populist far-right have transformed and achieved mainstream success because these three components have come together at this time in history and provided a great deal of strength to the operation of the far-right.
Australia, Islamophobia, Populism, Far-Right