Populism and Conspiracy Theories: The Case of the Lithuanian Family Movement
Keywords:conspiracy theories, populism, Ernesto Laclau, Lithuanian Family Movement, COVID-19 conspiracy theories, LGBT conspiracy theories
Populism and conspiracy theories usually gain their momentum during the societal crises. The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the biggest crises in Lithuania and the rest of the world in recent years, during which the new populist movement – the Lithuanian Family Movement – reached its peak of popularity, using a number of various conspiracy theories in its populist discourse. The aim of this article is to reveal the specific role of conspiracy theories in the populist discourse and to show its dynamic nature. Ernesto Laclau’s discursive conceptualization of populism is used for theorization of populism and conspiracy theories; discourse analysis method is used in the research itself. The research has showed that conspiracy theories played a specific role in the discourse of Lithuanian Family Movement, especially important for the gradual construction of the identity of the populist enemy, moving from the concrete to the abstract.
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