International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Digital Memory and Populism

International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on
Digital Memory and Populism

Screenshot of the photo “Populism Paste-up, Berlin” by Dr Case (CC BY-NC 2.0).
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In a world of flux, the past can become a guiding beacon; yet, in which direction do populists move and how do counter-voices mobilize memory online to respond to often divisive interpretations of the past?  

Guest-edited by Manuel Menke and Berber Hagedoorn, this Special Section on Digital Memory and Populism presents work by international academic 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 published in the International Journal of Communication on March 2, 2023. Please log into 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

Larry Gross, Editor 
Kady Bell-Garcia, Managing Editor
Chi Zhang, Managing Editor, Special Sections
Manuel Menke and Berber Hagedoorn, Guest Editors

Please note that according to the latest Google Scholar statistics, IJoC ranks 9th among all Humanities journals and 9th among all Communications journals in the world — demonstrating the viability of open access scholarly publication at the highest level.