The role of the media in the rise of political extremism is a critical issue for European societies in the current political and economic crisis, the persistence of which seems to foster euroscepticism, nationalism and right-wing populism. Greece is a highly emblematic case in this context, since the spread of anti-European sentiment, in addition to high poverty levels and the unprecedented rise of political extremism, pose a threat to the very survival of democracy. Since the beginning of the crisis, news stories in printed and electronic media in Greece have been dominated by negative emotional connotations: rage, fear, distrust, depression. The 2012 elections came to confirm these tendencies, the most disturbing of which is the electoral result achieved by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. In less than three years the right-wing extremists managed to increase their vote by more than twenty times, despite their anti-parliamentarian, racist and nationalist stances and violent means of action.
This wave of political extremism is an important phenomenon, yet there seems to be a significant knowledge gap in the field. Perhaps the least analyzed aspect is how the influence of the media determines its course. This project brings together a talented, young political researcher, experienced in political organizations and media communication, to work with an international team of experts in media studies and sociopsychology, in a two-fold study. At a macro level, we seek to examine the way that Greek media and public debates have formed negative emotions and perceptions on how democracy works, and to decode the mechanism through which such emotional stocks might have functioned to create a political opportunity for extremists in the context of the crisis. At micro level, we aim to profile the repertoire of emotions of the Greek right-wing extremists through the new social media, and to establish whether and how this interactive communication has favoured the Golden Dawn.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call