Radikale Venstres Position in the Political Landscape

Frederikke Tarp

Student thesis: Master thesis


Drawing on a poststructuralist approach this Master’s thesis investigates how Sofie Carsten Nielsen (SCN) – the political leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party “Radikale Venstre” – through articulation is aiming to position the party in the political landscape. This is the focus of the thesis for subsequently to discuss which implications SCN’s attempts of fixating the Radikale Venstre’s position has. With an theoretical optic based on Ernesto Laclau’s and Chantal Mouffe’s discourse theory the thesis will explore, how SCN through a web of equivalence and difference signifying chains is participating in a hegemonic struggle to partially fixate the signifier though the nature of all social structures are struck with contingency. In the analysis of SCN's articulations, it is found that SCN constructs Radikale Venstre’s position in the political landscape through special signifiers. She seeks to construct a party that: searches for compromise, unifies, is persistent and innovative, handles “real problems”, while being the co-op and counterpart of the governing body and neither “red” or “blue”. This thesis has further discussed and concluded that on the basis of SCN's special discursive formation, the Radikale Venstre’s constitutive exclusionary boundary is constructed as fluid, which makes Radikale Venstre’s room for maneuverability complicated to identify with. The discussion states that SCN through universal appealing signifiers constructs Radikale Venstre, but while this is a narrative basis, handling concrete political problems often gets in the way of visionary statements and therefore cannot keep up the signifiers appealing effect. This thesis has further discussed that the challenges Radikale Venstre are facing in terms of SCN's fixation of contingency, perhaps is just a condition one has as a center party, in the desire to keep all options open.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages84
SupervisorsMads Mordhorst