Narrative ecologies in post-truth times: Nostalgia and conspiracy theories in narrative jungles?

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Abstract

The author argues that different political cultures are characterized by their individual narrative ecologies. By analogy to natural ecologies, narrative ecologies are spaces where different narratives and counter-narratives emerge, interact, compete, adapt and die. Specific political cultures may have narrative ecologies comparable to narrative temperate zones, narrative monocultures, narrative deserts, narrative jungles and so forth. Post-truth political cultures, it is then argued, rely on certain core narratives that include endless warnings of crisis and imminent catastrophe, strings of purported traumas, insults and victimhood, a cacophony of conspiracy theories and an all-encompassing nostalgia for a golden past that represents everything that is resented in the present. Nostalgic narratives and conspiracy theories are then analysed as central components of populist political landscapes akin to narrative jungles, capable of migrating and colonizing other political institutions and fora. In a similar way, the author argues that concepts and theories migrate from narrative and organizational studies to political theory and other genres whose boundaries become blurred.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat Political Science Can Learn from the Humanities
Subtitle of host publicationBlurring Genres
EditorsR. Rhodes, S. Hodgett
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages33-55
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030516970
ISBN (Print)9783030516963
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Conspiracy theories
  • Counter-narratives
  • Nostalgia
  • Populism
  • Post-truth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences

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