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  • Writer's pictureManos Tsakiris

Conference on Social Media Communication and Right-Wing Populisms in Latin America and Beyond

We are pleased to participate in this Conference organized by the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Research Hub and the Institute of Language, Literature and Anthropology at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).


Conference: 10-11 December 2024 (in person and online)


CfP deadline: 31 July 2024



Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Nayib Bukele in El Salvador and Javier Milei in Argentina are just a few paradigmatic cases which represent, to different degrees, the rise of populism, the advances of right-wing radicalism and the resurgence of extreme nationalism in Latin America in the last decade.



We use the term "right-wing populism" to refer, as some Latin Americanists have done, to the ideological conservative elements and national-populist influences, namely the construction of political antagonisms, alongside the explicit praise and support of local capitalist systems. The cohesive element at the regional level is the post-colonial historical situation: Latin America's colonial roots engendered a profoundly hierarchical society whose dominant classes have felt threatened by a series of recent rights advances on the part of minoritised groups, responding in reactionary terms. It is also common for these leaders to advocate for greater military investment, as well as speak nostalgically of the patriarchal order and hardline security approaches that authoritarian regimes enacted in the past.



However, beyond these sociological aspects, the emergence of right-wing populist leaders as representatives of a mass phenomenon calls for in-depth studies of new forms of communication. How can a political project that defends the interests of a privileged few, namely white men, become a phenomenon that is radically defended by large sectors of the population? How does the study of the social media communication that is used by right-wing populisms inform us about broad processes of socio-political polarisation?



This conference will discuss how, through social media communication, Latin American right-wing populisms are configuring their own discourses, with regional particularities as well as global influences. This is a timely theme as Latin America’s right-wing populisms, which are under-researched compared to their Anglo-European equivalents, have expanded throughout the region and have built global connections. Over 2 days, the conference will place a particular focus on how social media communication exacerbates political polarisation, radicalisation, and violent political cultures through the study of the uses that political influencers and far-right populist sympathisers make of these media.



While focused on Latin America, we also invite scholars and practitioners who work on processes of radicalisation in other parts of the world to submit their papers in order to enable discussions about common and divergent elements as well as connections with other expressions of right-wing populisms.



Paper submissions may address, but are not limited to, the following themes:



-Analysis of communication strategies on social media by right-wing parties.



-Disinformation and fake news in right-wing populist social media campaigns.



-Meme culture and the use of codes such as humour and irony to build adherence and normalise certain forms of violence.



-The role of youth in digital mobilization for or against right-wing populisms



-The role of gender in the political communication of right-wing leaders and influencers.



-The role of AI and social media algorithms in facilitating political polarisation.


-Regulation and legal challenges in content management on social media in the political context.


-The challenges and ethics of social media research with/on right-wing populisms.


Abstracts of 250 words and a 100-word bio should be emailed to the conference organisers Gabriel Bayarri (gabriel.bayarri@sas.ac.uk) and Ainhoa Montoya (ainhoa.montoya@cchs.csic.es) by 31 July 2024. Proposals should also indicate whether the presentation will be in person or online. In order to minimize the climate impact of the conference, we encourage those based outside Europe to participate online.


This is a multilingual conference, and presentations will be accepted in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.


The conference is funded by the British Academy and will be hosted by the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, in collaboration with the Digital Humanities Research Hub(Opens in new window), the Centre for the Politics of Feelings and the Institute of Language, Literature and Anthropology at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).


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