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Political Science in Europe

Populism as a Communication Strategy in Social Media during the Presidential Election Campaign in South Korea in 2017

Social Media
Julia Trzcińska
University of Wrocław
Julia Trzcińska
University of Wrocław

The aim of the speech will be to present the results of the research on the use of populist strategies in social media during the presidential election campaign in South Korea in 2017. It is a part of a wider research on the political communication model during the election campaigns in this country.
The main hypothesis was the assumption that populism was the dominant communication strategy in social media during the 2017 presidential campaign. Its verification was based on the concept proposed by Jagers & Walgrave (2007), who suggested how to measure populist strategies in political communication. The study is particularly interesting because the publications based on this concept that have been written so far have focused on states that are a part of the Huntington’s Western civilization. However, Koreans, living under the influence of Confucianism, very often have a different view on power and political issues. This is particularly evident in the way they see the role of rulers. They are treated as “fathers of the nation” who should be listened to even if they are austere and fallible.
The analysis focused on broadly and narrowly understood populism; therefore, the research questions included both “Did the posts published in the course of the presidential electoral campaign refer to »people« (nation, people, voters, taxpayers, Koreans, etc.)?” and “Did anti-establishment content (anti-state, anti-media, anti-political) appear in the messages?”. It was also examined whether there was content that excluded or slandered certain social groups (so-called “strangers” or “others”), and if so, what groups they were. The issue of whether the parties or politicians who used the most populist elements won the greatest support of the electorate was also significant. Finally, the messages were analyzed in relation to populism understood as ideology, i.e. rejecting the rule of law, the division of power or minority rights as limiting the power of the people.
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