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Shifting the blame. Populist politicians’ use of Twitter as a tool of opposition

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journal contribution
posted on 18.03.2016, 10:27 by Stijn van Kessel, Remco Castelein
The advent of new social media has facilitated new means of political communication, through which politicians can address the electorate in an unmediated way. This article concentrates on political actors challenging the establishment, for whom new media platforms such as Twitter provide new tools to engage in a ‘permanent campaign’ against dominant mainstream parties. Such opposition is ostensibly articulated most strongly by populist parties, which can be seen as the ultimate challengers to the (political) ‘elites’. By means of two oftenidentified cases of populism in the Netherlands (the radical right Freedom Party and left-wing Socialist Party), this study explores how populist party leaders use Twitter messages (tweets) to give form to their adversarial rhetoric in practice. Irrespective of the different ways in which the politicians utilised the medium, our study shows that Twitter can serve as a valuable source to study the oppositional discourse of populist parties, and (shifting) party strategies more generally.

History

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Journal of Contemporary European Research

Volume

12

Issue

2

Pages

594 - 614

Citation

VAN KESSEL, S. and CASTELEIN, R., 2016. Shifting the blame. Populist politicians’ use of Twitter as a tool of opposition. Journal of Contemporary European Research, 12 (2), pp. 594-614.

Publisher

UACES

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

22/02/2016

Publication date

2016-05-05

Notes

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

ISSN

1815-347X

Language

en

Exports

Loughborough Publications

Exports