Populist Communication

Ideology, Performance, Mediation

Authors: Sorensen, Lone

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  • Explores the ways in which populists engage with and represent political reality.
  • Takes an integrated approach to the media ecology, based on the empirical investigation of communicative practices across off- and online stages.
  • Discusses six keyhole performances by two populist parties in South Africa and the UK to tell the story of how populist communication plays out.
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Hardcover $119.99
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About this book

How can we make sense of the current age of global political disruption when populism leaves norms overturned and the future form of democracy unpredictable?

Political representatives are no longer elected for their experience and expertise but out of a desire for an ephemeral sense of authenticity, a direct connection to citizens, and the certainty of the truths they tell. But when populists project these ideas and claim to represent the citizenry, what is reality and what is strategic performance for the media? This conceptually rich book explores the performative strategies of the populist politicians who disrupt the normative order with acts of ‘truth-telling’. It disentangles their complex use of media—from their appeal to news values through spectacular disruptions to sophisticated social media commentary—in repertoires of mediated performances. Based on vigorous empirical research in both established and transitional democracies, it develops a theoretical framework of populist communication in the new media environment.


About the authors

Lone Sorensen is Lecturer in Media and Communication in the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, UK.


Reviews

“For Lone Sorensen, populism is what populism does, its distinctive character honed through performances of disruption, a politics of authenticity, and claims to speak for a singular idea of ‘the people’.  Featuring rich case material, deft analysis of concepts and telling insights, this new book makes an invaluable contribution to the study of populist politics and our ideas of representation.  Placing communication front and centre, it illuminates with real effectiveness the nature and challenges of populism in the early twenty-first century.” (Professor Michael Saward, Warwick University) 

“For Lone Sorensen, populism is what populism does, its distinctive character honed through performances of disruption, a politics of authenticity, and claims to speak for a singular idea of ‘the people’.  Featuring rich case material, deft analysis of concepts and telling insights, this new book makes an invaluable contribution to the study of populist politics and our ideas of representation.  Placing communication front and centre, it illuminates with real effectiveness the nature and challenges of populism in the early twenty-first century.” (Professor Michael Saward, Warwick University)“A vital book for making sense of populism in the here and now, Lone Sorensen’s Populist Communication: Ideology, Performance, Media sophisticatedly links theory, empirics and method to help the reader understand what populists do, how they do it, why people are attracted to it, and the fundamental role of media and performance in contemporary populism. Knocking down disciplinary walls with gusto, this book is sure to make a splash in the growing populism studies literature.” (Dr Benjamin Moffitt, Australian Catholic University)

“Although there is now a growing literature on populist political communication, there remains relatively little on the communication strategies and tactics of populist parties. Sorensen, in her admirable study, analyses the performances of two populist parties in established and transitional democracies, UKIP in the UK and Economic Freedom Fighters in South Africa, across different but connected media. In doing so this book makes a significant contribution to the development of a theory of populist communication.” (Professor John Downey, University of Loughborough)

“In politics, truth can mean both accuracy and authenticity (and this is only one of the many ideas that makes this book an important step in the study of populism). If we understand this distinction not as a source of misunderstanding or as the basis for two political logics, but as the description of two academic virtues, this book realizes both of them: It is highly original, crosses frontiers and shows a passion for the most careful analysis, interpretation, and conceptualizations.” (Dr Benjamin Krämer, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

“In my view this is the first book to understand the performative strategies of populists. It is written with commendable theoretical sophistication and methodological rigour. Anyone trying to make sense of political communication in an era of normative chaos should read it.” (Professor Stephen Coleman, University of Leeds)

 


Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-65756-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-65755-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Populist Communication
Book Subtitle
Ideology, Performance, Mediation
Authors
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-65756-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-65756-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-65755-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 316
Number of Illustrations
6 b/w illustrations
Topics