Populism, the media, and the mainstreaming of the far right: The Guardian’s coverage of populism as a case study

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Abstract

Populism seems to define our current political age. The term is splashed across the headlines, brandished in political speeches and commentaries, and applied extensively in numerous academic publications and conferences. This pervasive usage, or populist hype, has serious implications for our understanding of the meaning of populism itself and for our interpretation of the phenomena to which it is applied. In particular, we argue that its common conflation with far-right politics, as well as its breadth of application to other phenomena, has contributed to the mainstreaming of the far right in three main ways: (1) agenda-setting power and deflection, (2) euphemisation and trivialisation, and (3) amplification. Through a mixed-methods approach to discourse analysis, this article uses The Guardian newspaper as a case study to explore the development of the populist hype and the detrimental effects of the logics that it has pushed in public discourse.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitics
Early online date30 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Discourse
  • far right
  • mainstreaming
  • populism
  • racism

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