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Populisms among technology, e-democracy and the depoliticisation process

  • De Blasio, Emiliana
  • Sorice, Michele
Publication Date
Dec 30, 2018
Revista Internacional de Sociología
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In the last decade, the economic crisis and the mistrust in democratic institutions have contributed to a major crisis of political parties across Europe. These are some of the causes that led to the formation of political movements with purely populist characteristics as replacement of the traditional delegitimized intermediary bodies. The crisis of representation is the crisis of the post 1945 idea of representation as a tool to increase the people’s participation. We have noted a convergence between some populist appeals to direct democracy and the more radical neo-liberal approaches that pretend to reduce people’s participation, even if by appealing to some forms of “surrogate representation”. The theoretical background of this paper is based upon the relationships between “surrogate representation” and the institutionalization of the neo-populist movements, quickly transformed in neo-populist parties. In other words, we can highlight the strange coming together of technological storytelling on direct democracy with technocracy myths and the overlap of technopopulism with direct democracy and “direct e-democracy” (that is profoundly different from deliberative and participatory e-democracy). The aim of the paper is to analyse the connections between the emerging forms of populism (such as techno-populism), the rhetoric on the importance of digital communication for the improvement of democracy, and the depoliticisation processes.

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