Nationalisms, Populisms and the Media in the Post-Representative Democracy

Open Panel

In the last two decades, many scholars have talked about the emergence of the post-representative politics. The crisis of representation, in fact, can easily be interpreted as a deficit of trust on the part of citizens towards political institutions. In this climate of mistrust, the demands for more participatory forms of democracy and a citizens’ critical and monitorial approach to politics are growing, as well as reactions that push towards the request for new forms of representation, such as those that we can define as "hyper-representation" and which constitute the background of many contemporary populisms from one side and an accelerator of nationalist feelings from the other side. The lack of trust in political institutions generates at least four areas of response from citizens: a) social apathy; b) the request for a more accurate control over representative institutions (the sanctioning democracy); c) the insurgence of identitarian feelings (connected with some nationalist approaches to politics); d) the request for new forms of participation (from active citizenship to different forms of democratic innovations to the emergence of new “challenger parties”).
After some national general elections and the 2019 European elections, we can observe an interesting example of the consolidation of a post-representative democracy; this is provoking a radical change in the political scenario, a deep transformation in the logic of political communication and a diffusive development of new and individualized forms of political participation.
The panel aims at highlighting the radical transformation of the world political scenario following the insurgence of the post-representative politics and some instances of depoliticisation and its controversial relationship with the media, both “traditional” and “digital.
In order to discuss these topics, papers that focus on the linkages between media use, political participation and citizens’ involvement, as well as on a multidisciplinary and comparative approaches are very welcome.