The Populist Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Lithuania: From Criticism to Conspiracy Theories

Authors

  • Karolis Jonutis Klaipėda University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51740/RT.2.22.2

Keywords:

conspiracy theory , populism, COVID-19 pandemic, politicization

Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis became a great opportunity to spread populistic discourses that were usually accompanied by conspiracy theories. The article reveals a gradual process of politicization of the crisis by various Lithuanian populist actors, transforming the COVID-19 pandemic from a medical issue into a political one. Ernesto Laclau’s theory of populism combined with William Felstiner’s framework of politicization conceptualize these processes. The research showed that populist actors used a specific discourse dynamic to make the pandemic a political issue, moving from criticism of the specific measures to manage the pandemic, to an abstract and negative assessment of the situation as a whole.

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Published

29/12/2022

How to Cite

Jonutis, K. (2022). The Populist Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Lithuania: From Criticism to Conspiracy Theories. Relevant Tomorrow, 2(22), 46–63. https://doi.org/10.51740/RT.2.22.2