The Rise of Rightwing Populism in Europe and the United States

Winston P. Nagan, Samantha R. Manausa


Building off of recent scholarship that has already addressed and debated the myriad causes of the contemporary rise of global populism, the authors seek to explore conceptually the inherent dynamic between identity and mass communications that enables such factors, among others, as economic inequality, systematic corruption by the “elite”, or dissatisfaction with neoliberal politics, to motivate populist trends on a global level. The authors seek to strengthen the current understanding of this trend by providing a deeper theoretical explanation for how identity and mass communications have contributed to the international political dynamic that we live in today. The authors will first provide a brief review of relevant recent scholarship on the aforementioned factors seen to be the cause of the current populism trend. They will follow by examining the history of political and group identities in order to identify the ways in which these identities form the building blocks for nationalism and xenophobia, consequences of the rise of rightwing populism. Next, the authors will explain the methods by which people or groups utilize communication to influence others and achieve power. This will include an in-depth discussion of the historical value of narratives and modern communications theories. This will provide a foundational understanding for the final section, in which the authors discuss modern techniques for influencing narratives and effectively communicating to achieve power, including different types of hacking and election-meddling. Ultimately the authors advocate for the strategic utilization of narratives to promote compassion and affection, given the lethality of a future dominated by misinformation and international interference in the democratic process.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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