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Polarized discourses in the digital era – indications for an authoritative backlash?

Cyber Politics
Media
Political Participation
Political Parties
Internet
Communication
Technology
Activism
P300
Isabelle Borucki
University of Duisburg-Essen
Giulia Sandri
Université catholique de Lille – ESPOL

Abstract

In the Corona pandemic, the revival of nation-state borders and logics of action, the effects of populist government styles, and the vulnerability of basic democratic principles are increasingly back on the agenda. While in some countries the pandemic tends to promote social and political divisions, in others it seems to lead to at least a temporary strengthening of the community. In some countries, we can observe more populist-authoritarian political patterns in the wake of the crisis (for example, in Hungary or Brazil); in others, the established parties are gaining support, and populist forces are losing (for example, currently in Germany). At the same time, the crisis demonstrates the importance of the state's acting ability. Coping with the problem is likely to impact the legitimacy of the political systems and the parties supporting (or fighting) them. However, we must already ask how the current developments relate to longer-term outcomes, especially in liberal democracies. These developments are interpreted as growing disenchantment and dissatisfaction with politics leading to increasing polarization. This development's expression is a disintegration of political camps. The increasing distance between left-right, GALTAN or whatever dimension is drawn: We witness an authoritative backlash in countries dominated by a political culture and discourses rooted in the manosphere. This backlash comes with the incompatibility of their respective positions and the non-recognition of the other. This development's manifestations are manifold: they can be observed in election campaigns, social networks, and increasing parliamentary segmentation. As a result, the erosion of the core functions of liberal democracies seems to be looming, and an already nearly forgotten type is rising again: the authoritarian patriarchic regime. Against this background of short- and long-term developments, the panel aims, among others, to discuss these aspects. The aim is to bring together approaches and perspectives of political science organizational, movement and communication research to draw a connection between current pandemic observations and long-term analyses and findings on the relationship between populism, authoritarianism, organizations, and parties in an international perspective. We highly encourage young and female or BIPOC researchers to contribute to this panel actively and submit their abstracts and papers. Also, we tend to mix both young and senior scholars' contributions to maximize the outcome for all participants.

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