WP2 – Post-truth politics, populism and the public sphere

Work package two will analyse the implications of post-factual politics for liberal democracy, focusing in particular on deliberation/communication in the public sphere and the extent to which post-truth politics constitutes a transformation in political cultures that challenges fundamental democratic rights and values.

Specifically, WP 2 focuses on the dynamics through which populism and post-factual politics - phenomena often associated with one another, although their links are complex - undermine human as well as civil rights, e.g. freedom of speech/expression, assembly, press, gender equality, etc. In addition, the work package analyses the implications of post-truth politics for the public sphere, asking whether the changing media and information environment results in an empirically observable increasing fragmentation and polarisation of the public sphere.

On this basis, the WP furthermore develops scenarios for the possible development of liberal democracy in a post-factual age, in particular by addressing the question of the extent to which disinformation “is here to stay” and what can be done to tame the effects of disinformation and promote liberal democracy beyond the post-factual age.