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Populism in context. A cross-country investigation of the Facebook usage of populist appeals during the 2019 European Parliament elections.

Bene, M., Magin, M., Haßler, J., Russmann, U., Lilleker, D., Kruschinski, S., Jackson, D., Fenoll, V., Farkas, X., Baranowski, P. and Balaban, D., 2023. Populism in context. A cross-country investigation of the Facebook usage of populist appeals during the 2019 European Parliament elections. The International Journal of Press/Politics. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1177/19401612231196158


By providing populist movements with a suitable platform to invoke the support of ordinary people against the establishment, research has found that social media has facilitated the rise of populism in many Western democracies (Gerbaudo, 2018). Significant scholarly attention has recently been paid to how populist rhetoric is adopted by politicians in various (non)electoral contexts (Jagers & Walgrave, 2007; Bos & Brants, 2014; Ernst et al., 2019) and how such rhetoric diffuses through public discourse (Mazzoleni & Bracciale, 2018). However, while much existing scholarship has primarily focused on the prevalence of populist communication in political discourse (Reinemann et al., 2016; Ernst et al., 2019), less attention has been paid to the overall context of its use. This is an important shortcoming because if populist communication is a strategic tool (Weyland, 2001), it is important to uncover the conditions under which it is more or less likely to appear. In this paper we focus on these conditions through a more granular analysis of the use of populist appeals. First, at the (social media) post-level, we examine whether variations in content (topics and political level) are related to the use of populist appeals. Further, we bring attention to the relationship between populist appeals and party-level ideological leaning. We do this analysis within the context of the 2019 European Parliamentary (EP) elections, applying a quantitative content analysis of 8,074 Facebook posts from political parties representing twelve states and from across the ideological spectrum.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:populism; political communication; facebook; social media; campaigning; European Union
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:38897
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:07 Sep 2023 12:51
Last Modified:07 Sep 2023 12:51


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