3 March 2023

Digital Memory and Populism

Populism Paste-up, Berlin
Screenshot of the photo “Populism Paste-up, Berlin” by Dr Case (CC BY-NC 2.0).

New special issue guest-edited by Manuel Menke and Berber Hagedoorn

The open-access special section on “Digital Memory and Populism” in the International Journal of Communication (IJoC) presents work by international researchers who shed light on the uses of the past by populists, their supporters, and their opponents in online discourses. Readers will gain a better understanding of digital memory and populism in the realm of party politics and beyond since populist communication and narratives have entered civil society and people's everyday lives in many democracies across the world.

In seven articles, the authors contribute unique insights into how digital memory is shared, represented, constructed, and exploited to promote or tackle populism in Germany, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States. Together, the articles in this Special Section exhibit digital memory as an important analytical lens to understand populism and its uses of the past from a media and communication perspective. The presented studies feature different conceptual and empirical approaches demonstrating how contested and therefore powerful memory is in populism, shaping digital discourses on identity, belonging, and political ideology. Some articles, however, also emphasize the potential of digital memory to organize and mobilize bottom-up voices countering populist narratives by the means of digital media, networked communication, and activism. Thereby, the research articles in this Section contribute new pieces to the puzzle of populism's success, while also highlighting possible counter-narratives.

We invite you to read these articles that were published in the International Journal of Communication on 2 March 2023. Please open www.ijoc.org to read the papers of interest. We look forward to your feedback!


Digital Memory and Populism—Introduction
Manuel Menke, Berber Hagedoorn

Populists' Use of Nostalgia: A Supervised Machine Learning Approach
Lena Frischlich, Lena Clever, Tim Wulf, Tim Wildschut, Constantine Sedikides

Commemorative Populism in the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Strategic (Ab)use of Memory in Anti-Corona Protest Communication on Telegram
Christian Schwarzenegger, Anna Wagner

Radical-Right Populist Media Discourse in Social Media and Counter Strategies: Case Study of #ConfederateHeritageMonth 2021 Twitter Campaign
Krzysztof Wasilewski

Deploying Private Memory in the Virtual Sphere: Feminist Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Mexico
Emanuela Buscemi

Remembering Gezi: The Digital Memory Practices on Twitter During the Anniversaries in the Face of Populist Challenges
Duygu Karataş, Mine Gencel Bek

Remembering and Forgetting Fukushima: Where Citizen Science Meets Populism in Japan
Yasuhito Abe