Ny venstrefløjsidentitet? Om SF’s identitetskonstruktion og -opgør

Ane Kolby Kristiansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Through a discourse theoretical approach this thesis examines the latest development of the Danish left wing party, the Socialist People‟s Party (SF). The party has during the recent years experienced significant gains after almost 20 years of decline. In 2005 Villy Søvndal was elected as new chairman of the party. Consequently the political strategy of the party was altered along with a number of leadership and organisational changes. On the basis of Ernesto Laclau‟s and Chantal Mouffe‟s discourse theory this thesis takes its point of departure in these events and examines, how the change of chairman through discourse is constructed as a break with the existing identity of the party, but is also the foundation on which a new identity is constituted. In the following analyses it is demonstrated, how this construction has consequences for the establishing of the constitutive „outside‟ of the party. The thesis points at the fact that the constitutive „outside‟ has been transformed from a clearly ideologically defined „them‟ to a divided and pragmatic „them‟. Likewise it is demonstrated that this transformation of the constitutive „outside‟ has had significance for the identity of the party. The thesis shows, how the rearticulation of this identity is attempted in relation to the empty signifier „government competent‟ in contrast to „government incompetent‟. It is furthermore shown how this attempt to rearticulate the identity is structured by the construction of two identities, a „SF before‟ and a „SF now‟, and it is pointed out, how this relation is constructed in antagonistic terms. It is thus concluded that the articulation of the identity as „government competent‟ establishes a paradox in that the antagonistic force is internalized within SF between a party of the past and a party of today.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages69