Populism and the Web : Communicative Practices of Parties and Movements in Europe book cover
1st Edition

Populism and the Web
Communicative Practices of Parties and Movements in Europe

ISBN 9780367901370
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
216 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Web plays an increasingly important role in the communication strategies of political parties and movements, which increasingly utilize it for promoting ideas and ideologies as well as mobilization and campaigning strategies.

This book explores the role of the Web for right-wing populist political parties and movements across Europe. Analyzing these groups’ discourses and practices of online communication, it shows how social media is used to spread ideas and mobilize supporters whilst also excluding constructed ‘others’ such as migrants, Muslims, women or LGBT persons. Expert contributors provide evidence of a shift in the strategies of mainstream parties as they also engage in ‘Internet populism’ and suggest ways that progressive movements can and do respond to counter these developments. Topics are explored using a cross-country analysis which does not neglect the particularities of the national contexts.

This work will appeal to researchers and students working in the fields of media and communication studies, political theory, policy analysis, studies of populism, racism and nationalism, gender, LGBT, migration, Islam and welfare.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Populism is better Understood in its Relation with the Media

Gianpietro Mazzoleni

Introductory Remarks From ‘Hate Speech’ to ‘Hate Tweets’Ruth Wodak

Populism and the Web: An Introduction to the BookMojca Pajnik, Birgit Sauer

Chapter 1 Post-Democracy, Party Politics and Right-Wing Populist Communication

Birgit Sauer, Anna Krasteva, Aino Saarinen

Chapter 2 Populist Political Communication in Mediatized Society

Mojca Pajnik, Susi Meret

Chapter 3 Right-wing Populist Convergences and Spillovers in Hybrid Media Systems

Iztok Šori, Vanya Ivanova

Chapter 4 Media, Politics and Democracy: Populist and Post-populist Europe in the Mirror of the Italian Experience

Giovanna Campani

Chapter 5 From Anti-Europeanism to Welfare Nationalism: Populist Strategies on the Web

Ildiko Otova and Heini Puurunen

Chapter 6 Anti-Migration and Islamophobia: Web Populism and Targeting the "Easiest Other"

Denitza Kamenova and Etienne Pingaud

Chapter 7 Perceptions of Gender: the Discourse of the Far Right on the Web

Gabriella Lazaridis and Vasiliki Tsagkroni

Chapter 8 Sexuality Online – the Construction of Right-Wing Populists’ "Internal Others" in the Web

Roman Kuhar and Edma Ajanović

Chapter 9 Media Populism in Post-democracy: the Crossroads of Right and Left Political Parties

Birgit Sauer, Mojca Pajnik, Susi Meret

Chapter 10 Countering Populist Othering Online: Strategies of Anti-racist Movements

Kaarina Aitamurto and Evelina Staikova

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Mojca Pajnik is Research Advisor at the Peace Institute in Ljubljana and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.

Birgit Sauer is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Vienna and, since 2014, speaker of the Research Network Gender and Agency at the University of Vienna.


"This excellent book links the origins of contemporary populism to the erosion of democratic institutions, and shows how the rise of populist parties on the radical right further threatens democracy across Europe. A common theoretical and empirical framework gives the book a rare unity of argument and analysis seldom found in edited volumes. The focus on how these parties use digital and social media to communicate directly with large publics helps explain the rapid rise of the radical right in so many democracies. This book is a must read for everyone concerned about the disruption of communication and political institutions in contemporary democracies." - Lance Bennett, University of Washington

"Drawing on insights from a great variety of European countries this book provides a comprehensive yet detailed account of populist discourses and practices in online media. Given the centrality of online communication in current mediatized democracies, the volume is a much-needed addition to the literature on media and populism and among the very first to provide a systematic account of how populist parties and movements make use of the web. The contributions range from comparative analysis with a focus on the participatory potentials of online communication to detailed depictions of different exclusionary discourses. The book ends with an important chapter on strategies to counter populist discourses. On the whole the volume is an indispensable read for any scholar working on the intersection of media and populism." - Hajo Boomgaarden, University of Vienna