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Comparing populist communication across media channels: how political actors utilize populist messages and styles


Neumann-Ernst, Nicole. Comparing populist communication across media channels: how political actors utilize populist messages and styles. 2019, University of Zurich, Faculty of Arts.

Abstract

Populism is one of the most pressing and thriving political issues in current democracies, as populist actors are extremely successful around the globe and increasing in importance. This has raised scholarly concerns to discuss this development also from a communication science perspective and explain the relation of political actors and their utilization of populist communication elements. This thesis answers two major research aims by first providing a conceptualization and operationalization of populist communication that combines and integrates both ideology-centered and discourse-centered definitions of populism and arguing that populist communication is a combination of ideology and style. By comparing the utilization of populist communication across different media channels, a variety of political actors and different political issues, this thesis secondly investigates and explains who expresses the populist messages and styles and to what extent populist communication is spread. With five comparative studies and the overarching synopsis, this thesis demonstrates that populist communication is especially dependent on certain opportunity structures and flourishes when populism affine factors, such as social media communication, party extremism or a high affinity to populism related issues, are combined.

Abstract

Populism is one of the most pressing and thriving political issues in current democracies, as populist actors are extremely successful around the globe and increasing in importance. This has raised scholarly concerns to discuss this development also from a communication science perspective and explain the relation of political actors and their utilization of populist communication elements. This thesis answers two major research aims by first providing a conceptualization and operationalization of populist communication that combines and integrates both ideology-centered and discourse-centered definitions of populism and arguing that populist communication is a combination of ideology and style. By comparing the utilization of populist communication across different media channels, a variety of political actors and different political issues, this thesis secondly investigates and explains who expresses the populist messages and styles and to what extent populist communication is spread. With five comparative studies and the overarching synopsis, this thesis demonstrates that populist communication is especially dependent on certain opportunity structures and flourishes when populism affine factors, such as social media communication, party extremism or a high affinity to populism related issues, are combined.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation (cumulative)
Referees:Esser Frank, Kleinen-von Königslöw Katharina
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
UZH Dissertations
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Place of Publication:Zürich
Date:2019
Deposited On:29 May 2019 12:04
Last Modified:01 Apr 2020 13:44
Number of Pages:188
OA Status:Green

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