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Populism and informal fallacies: an analysis of right-wing populist rhetoric in election campaigns


Blassnig, Sina; Büchel, Florin; Ernst, Nicole; Engesser, Sven (2019). Populism and informal fallacies: an analysis of right-wing populist rhetoric in election campaigns. Argumentation, 33(1):107-136.

Abstract

Populism is on the rise, especially in Western Europe. While it is often assumed that populist actors have a tendency for fallacious reasoning, this has not been systematically investigated. We analyze the use of informal fallacies by rightwing populist politicians and their representation in the media during election campaigns. We conduct a quantitative content analysis of press releases of rightwing populist parties and news articles in print media during the most recent elections in the United Kingdom and Switzerland in 2015. The results show that fallacies are used in more than a third of all analyzed texts and overwhelmingly cooccur with populist key messages. Moreover, fallacies occur more often in Populist parties’ press releases than in news articles and are more common in Switzerland compared to the United Kingdom. This study confirms the argument that Populist actors use fallacies in combination with Populist claims.

Abstract

Populism is on the rise, especially in Western Europe. While it is often assumed that populist actors have a tendency for fallacious reasoning, this has not been systematically investigated. We analyze the use of informal fallacies by rightwing populist politicians and their representation in the media during election campaigns. We conduct a quantitative content analysis of press releases of rightwing populist parties and news articles in print media during the most recent elections in the United Kingdom and Switzerland in 2015. The results show that fallacies are used in more than a third of all analyzed texts and overwhelmingly cooccur with populist key messages. Moreover, fallacies occur more often in Populist parties’ press releases than in news articles and are more common in Switzerland compared to the United Kingdom. This study confirms the argument that Populist actors use fallacies in combination with Populist claims.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Populist communication, political communication, rhetoric fallacies, election campaigns
Language:English
Date:1 March 2019
Deposited On:28 Jun 2018 15:04
Last Modified:20 Feb 2019 02:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0920-427X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-018-9461-2

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