POPULISM: TOWARDS A STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION FRAMEWORK

Argyo Kefala

Abstract


Populism has been extensively researched in the last few years due to the resurgence of the phenomenon both in Europe and the USA. Most scholars have followed dualistic approaches focusing on an either/or model of populism as an ideology, a discursive frame, or a political strategy, and very little attention has been paid to the communicative aspects of populism.  This paper argues for the need to work towards an integrated model of interpretation that takes into consideration the social, ideological, and political conditions that make populism possible or thriving together with the communicative elements of populist phenomena, as they are expressed in variant forms and duration in specific historical and social contexts.  Evidence from existing empirical and analytical work is applied in the framework of a Strategic Communication model in an effort to enhance our understanding through a multidisciplinary perspective. It is shown that contemporary populism as a multifaceted power strategy cannot be sufficiently understood as a “communication style” or reduced to a “discourse analysis”, but it would rather require a full examination and critical evaluation of political party strategies and media tactics, marketing communications, public relations and advertising campaigns designed to influence large audiences, utilizing multiple media platforms.


Keywords


Populism, Strategic communication, Political communication, Campaigns, Framing

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17349/jmc118216

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