Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy: Mapping the Politics of Falsehood, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy

Mapping the Politics of Falsehood, 1st Edition

By Johan Farkas, Jannick Schou


176 pages

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Paperback: 9780367322175
pub: 2019-09-11
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Hardback: 9780367322182
pub: 2019-09-11
Available for pre-order

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Western societies are under siege, as fake news, post-truth and alternative facts are undermining the very core of democracy. This dystopic narrative is currently circulated by intellectuals, journalists and policymakers worldwide. In this book, Johan Farkas and Jannick Schou deliver a comprehensive study of post-truth discourses. They critically map the normative ideas contained in these and present a forceful call for deepening democracy.

The dominant narrative of our time is that democracy is in a state of emergency caused by social media, changes to journalism and misinformed masses. This crisis needs to be resolved by reinstating truth at the heart of democracy, even if this means curtailing civic participation and popular sovereignty. Engaging with critical political philosophy, Farkas and Schou argue that these solutions neglect the fact that democracy has never been about truth alone. It is equally about the voice of the democratic people.

Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy delivers a sobering diagnosis of our times. It maps contemporary discourses on truth and democracy, foregrounds their normative foundations and connects these to historical changes within liberal democracies. The book will be of interest to students and scholars studying the current state and future of democracy, as well as to a politically informed readership.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Political Theory in Post-Factual Times

Part 1: Into Post-Truth Worlds

3. Prophecies of Post-Truth

4. US Politics in Post-Truth Worlds

5. Restoring Democracy

Part 2: Out of Post-Truth Worlds

6. Post-Truth and Post-Politics: Splitting the Difference

7. Ways Out? Truth, Technology, Democracy

8. Conclusion: Looking to the Future

About the Authors

Johan Farkas is a PhD Fellow in Media and Communication Studies at Malmö University, Sweden. Farkas has published in international journals such as New Media & Society, Critical Discourse Studies and the Brown Journal of World Affairs. Overall, his research interests lie at the intersection of digital media platforms, politics, civic engagement, journalism, and democracy. Since 2018, Farkas has been the Chair of YECREA (Young Scholars Network of the European Communication Research and Education Association).

Jannick Schou (PhD)researches questions of politics, citizenship and democracy, particularly in relation to digital technology and European welfare states. He is the author of several monographs and more than a dozen publications in renowned international journals. In 2018, he was awarded the Swedish Political Science Association’s (SWEPSA) price for best young researcher.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Global Information, Politics and Society

International communication encompasses everything from one-to-one cross-cultural interactions to the global reach of the internet. The Routledge Studies in Global Information, Politics and Society celebrates – and embraces – this depth and breadth. To completely understand communication, it must be studied in concert with many factors, since, most often, it is the foundational principle on which other subjects rest. This series provides a publishing space for scholarship in the expansive, yet intersecting, categories of communication and information processes and other disciplines.

Routledge Studies in Global Information, Politics and Society would like to publish work that educates readers about the complexities of international communication. We are especially interested in three areas: 1) research that focuses on empirical support for theoretical and conceptual development in communication and information processes, 2) research that is historically grounded and temporally expansive, and 3) research that is comparative and explores the world in both geopolitical and non-geopolitical categories. We welcome individual and co-authored manuscripts, as well as edited volumes.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Media & Internet