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Post-Truth Politics

Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre

Post-truth politics, nationalism and the (de-)legitimation of European integration (PTP) is a research network that aims to address the possible impact of ‘fake news’, disinformation and ‘post-truth politics’ on the legitimation and delegitimation of European integration.

Post-Truth Politics: Meet the Team podcast

Post-Truth Politics: Meet the Team with Professor Conrad

Fake news is discussed almost daily. In this episode, Professor Maximilian Conrad, explains why changing ideas about what truth is and the role it should play in politics has created a “post-truth politics”. He also discusses why the EU is an easy target of misinformation.

Producer and host: Auður …

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Post-Truth Politics Podcast series

Episode 1: The social media, misinformation, and politics researcher

The recent US election showed the power of disinformation in politics. In this episode, Bente Kalsnes from Kristiania University College (Oslo) explains how the fake news you see in your Facebook feed impacts politics in the Nordic countries and beyond. She also discusses how to solve the problem.

Production team: …

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Episode 2: The professional fact-checker

Everyone on Facebook has seen misinformation. In this episode, Faktisk.no editor Silje S. Skiphamn explains how citizens are facing not only a pandemic, but an “infodemic”. She explains how Facebook users can spot fake news, and what academics can do to help combat it.

Production team: Asimina Michailidou at ARENA …

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Episode 3: The digital journalism and American politics expert

Fact-checking as a new journalistic genre is becoming increasingly visible. In this episode, University of Wisconsin professor Lucas Graves explains what fact-checking is, the role it plays in American media and what could be done to restore people’s trust in the media.

Production team: Asimina Michailidou at ARENA and LINK …

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Episode 4: The investigative reporter and filmmaker

In this episode Investigative Journalist, Author and award-winning Filmmaker from Greece, Aris Chatzistefanou, talks about his latest documentary, Make the Economy Scream, reflecting on government-sanctioned misinformation, and the role of investigative journalism in restoring citizens’ trust in democracy

Production team: Asimina Michailidou at ARENA, and LINK, UiO …

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Episode 5: The journalist and researcher

How has social media changed the public sphere? In this episode, media researcher and former journalist Iva Nenadić discusses how platforms like Facebook and Twitter have changed news, what role journalists should play today, and why we need to know how the details of how social media operate.

Producers: Asimina …

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About the project

Fake news, disinformation and manipulation of the media are widely perceived to constitute a fundamental challenge to modern liberal-representative democracies. In an era of post-truth politics, digital media has increasingly replaced traditional legacy media as the most important source and venue of political information and communication.

This is a fundamental shift since information online is often unverified by gatekeepers at news outlets. Information spreads without professional input from journalists. This proliferation of digital media therefore raises concerns about the quality of democratic discourse, since it can be used for manipulative purposes to spread false and unfiltered information, and potentially affect the electoral decisions of citizens in liberal democracies.

This is a particular challenge in terms of the possible impact of disinformation on public support for the European project as such. Especially since the lingering democratic deficit debate in the EU has identified lack of knowledge about the functioning of the European institutions as one of the key problems regarding the democratic legitimation of the EU. In other words, if there is a lack of knowledge to begin with, then the possible impact of disinformation is heightened.

In addition, the project will address the related topic of why disinformation appears to have such an appeal to nationalist and/or populist actors on the far right and examine whether similar strategies are visible on the left of the political spectrum. These actors often identify the European Union as the root cause of many of the ‘evils’ that nationalist movements claim to tackle. In this regard, European integration is seen as a fundamental attack on the imagined community of the sovereign nation state.

Objectives

The central objective of the project is to analyze, through a series of case studies, both the extent and possible impact of the proliferation of disinformation and fake news via digital and other media, but also through more conventional mobilization and communication mechanisms, on processes of legitimation and delegitimation of European integration in the public sphere.

Articles and Opinion Pieces

Coronakrisen illustrerar den postfaktiska politiken

Maximilian Conrad on the importance of studying post-truth politics in the context of the ongoing Corona crisis (in Swedish).

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