Populist Communication on Social Media

Bennett, Samuel and Lipiński, Artur and Stępińska, Agnieszka and Abadi, David and Baloge, Martin and Bobba, Giuliano and Butkevičienė, Eglė and Brands, Charlotte and Fischer, Agneta and Gammeltoft-Hansen, Thomas and Hubé, Nicolas and Ianosev, Bogdan and Karamanidou, Lena and Klinge, Sune and Kocián, Jiří and Korkut, Umut and Magre, Jaume and Mancosu, Moreno and Marincea, Adina and Matic, Dejan and Medir, Luis and Morkevičius, Vaidas and Pano, Esther and Roncarolo, Franca and Sahin, Osman and Seddone, Antonella and Školkay, Andrej and Szabó, Gabriella and Tsatsanis, Emmanouil and Žvaliauskas, Giedrius (2020) Populist Communication on Social Media. Working Paper. -. (Unpublished)

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DOI: 10.17203/KDK420

Abstract

This working paper presents the findings of quantitave and qualititave research into populist communication on Facebook. Specifically, we look at how populist politicians from all across Europe used Facebook in their campaigns for the European Parliamentary elections in May 2019 and compared this with a posts from July 2019. We start the paper with sections on research design and then outline the importance of social media for populist political communication. From here, we present the findings of our comparative research. We found that the use of Facebook varied widely around the bloc. Some countries – Spain, Italy, the UK, France, and Poland – display a more widespread use of social media and with more complex usage, whilst others, such as Lithuania, have a low usage level. As a result, we maintain that there is no, one online populist strategy currently in use. Instead, the frequency, tone and topic of social media usage by populist actors differs from country to country, actor to actor, and over time, with specific national contexts playing an important role. The findings point to a ‘weak’ Europeanisation, with European elections acting as second order elections, and politicians acting nationally rather than as Europeans. As both a symptom and a cause of this, there is a strong current of Euroscepticism and anti-European sentiment, with a growing network of right-wing, nativist, populist actors, who share policies and discourses. This is proven in the emergence of the Europe of Nations and Freedom group in the EP.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Title in English: Populist Communication on Social Media
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Institute for Minority Studies
Research funder: European Union, Research and Innovation Action, Horizon 2020, DEMOS H2020 grant number 822590
Depositing User: Enikő Meiszterics
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2020 15:46
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 09:00
Related papers or data collections: Boda, Zsolt (2019) Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe. [Data Collection]
Bene, Márton and Boda, Zsolt (2020) Conceptualizing Democratic Efficacy. Working Paper. -. (Unpublished)
Školkay, Andrej and Žúborová, Viera Populist Political Movement Sme rodina – Boris Kollár (We Are a Family – Boris Kollár). Central European political studies, 2019 (4). pp. 5-26. ISSN 1731-7517
URI: https://openarchive.tk.mta.hu/id/eprint/420

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