Paul K. Jones
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Structural transformations of demagogic populism
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The concluding chapter returns to the opening dialogue with orthodox approaches, this time focused on how ‘political communication studies’ has addressed the populist surge. The chapter moves from Habermas’s recent, and surprising, re-visitation of his early ‘disintegration’ thesis in discussion of the current state of the public sphere. This enables a socio-conceptual bridging of the Institute’s demagogy research and recent developments in, and of, ‘political communication’. It employs elements of Habermas’s early work to examine the integral relationship between means of communication, the ‘contradictory institutionalization’ of the public sphere, the regulation of the culture industry and demagogic populism. The last of these so emerges as a central component of political communication in the ‘US-centric extraterritorial internet’. Communications policy so emerges as another potential means of redressing demagogic populism.

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