Vox gives more importance than the PP to cultural policy with a platform that attacks minorities, according to a research

Cultural policy. Imatge: Pixabay.
Cultural policy. Imatge: Pixabay.
A study by Joaquim Rius and Juan Pecourt, researchers from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology of the University of Valencia, and Juan Arturo Rubio (Antonio de Nebrija University) compares the cultural models of the PP and Vox, and concludes that Vox gives greater importance of the PP to cultural policy. According to the article published in the International Journal of Cultural Policy, Vox prioritises traditional values (bullfighting), opts for cultural confrontation (anti-Catalanism) like the far right in the United States, and neglects contemporary culture and creators.

According to the three researchers, in addition, Vox’s cultural proposal "also contains novel elements such as the inversion of a vindictive discourse on minorities, making the socially dominated appear dominant", a story of right-wing extremism that consists of reverse populism, in which the social dominants present themselves as dominated to claim their symbolic dominance.

This point, Rius, Pecourt and Rubio continue, "gives Vox a supposedly transgressive language and image, when the reality is that its cultural policy is a reaction to the progress of feminism, the vindication of the rights of minorities or environmentalism in the context of a crisis of the Fordist model and the emergence of post-materialist values".

In addition to a radicalisation of the previous cultural authoritarian tendencies on the Spanish right, Vox introduces themes of the alt-right (the supposed cancel culture) as well as identity elements that represent traditional values and that do not question the dominant culture, some with a non-majority social acceptance, like bullfighting.

"The main objective is the weakening of the rights of national minorities and their educational and cultural autonomy, and the promotion of dominant Spanish nationalism throughout the state territory with no exceptions, especially in territories like Catalonia that have turned their cultural singularity into a symbol of national identity", the researchers explain.

The Valencian case

According to the previous approach, in the Valencian case, where Vox manages the Department of Culture, the researchers highlight how the right-wing party tries to reverse the platform of the Valencian minority that imposes, in their opinion, the Catalan theses, so that a debate surpassed by the majority, appears again incited to legitimise the prevailing Spanish nationalism.

"In the two communities in which they are responsible for culture, Castilla and León and the Valencian Community, they have directed their efforts to vindicate a practice in strong social debate, bullfighting, and to attack national minorities, that is, to convert cultural policy into an instrument of cultural war", the researchers explain. In this sense, unlike other European far-right formations, with historically anti-Muslim rhetoric, Vox’s platform does not focus especially on hatred of the culture of immigrants or against multiculturalism, but on the weakening of rights of national minorities and their educational and cultural autonomy, and the promotion of dominant Spanish nationalism throughout the state territory without exceptions.

This research is supported by the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société de Toulouse (CNRS-University of Toulouse).

Article reference : Joaquim Rius-Ulldemolins, Juan Arturo Rubio-Arostegui & Juan Pecourt Gracia (23 Feb 2024): ’Nativist nationalism, cultural homogenisation and bullfighting: Vox’s cultural policy as an instrument for cultural battle (2019-2023)’. International Journal of Cultural. DOI: https://www.tandfonline.co­m/doi/full­/10.1080/1­0286632.20­24.2320424