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Publication . Article . 2021

“Swallowing the red pill”: the coronavirus pandemic and the political imaginary of stigmatized knowledge in the discourse of the far-right

Alexis Chapelan;
Open Access
Published: 01 Sep 2021 Journal: Journal of Transatlantic Studies, volume 19, pages 282-312 (issn: 1479-4012, eissn: 1754-1018, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Country: France

Pandemic disease is not merely a biological reality but also a cognitive and socially constructed phenomenon which intensely mobilizes a multiplicity of political frames. Far-right political entrepreneurs are, despite their remoteness from actual decision-making processes, active stakeholders in the current crisis. Existential threats to societies breed a sense of urgency and heightened cultural warfare that is a hotbed for extremism. Our study seeks to map, compare and contrast the symbolic responses to the Coronavirus crisis articulated by various far-right actors in two established democracies in the transatlantic area: The United States and France. We aim to shed light on how entrenched far-right mythologies and tropes—which appear increasingly transatlantic—are channeled into a new synthesis as part of an “alternative” political epistemology. Infused with the mythos of resistance and insurgency, resolutely anti-systemic, this alternative epistemology can better be described, following Michael Barkun, as a form of “stigmatized knowledge”. Our study will employ a Critical Discourse Analysis framework to bring into focus, in the response of the Euro-American far-right to the COVID-19 crisis, the ideological semiotics of the current “infodemic”.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Critical discourse analysis Political history Politics Discourse analysis Ideology media_common.quotation_subject media_common Political science The Imaginary Political economy Insurgency Security studies

ACM Computing Classification System: ComputingMilieux_MISCELLANEOUS


Political Science and International Relations, History, [SHS]Humanities and Social Sciences, Original Article, Conspiracy theory, Far-right, Extremism, Stigmatized knowledge, Discourse analysis

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