Project Title

The role of social media in the attitudes of Euroscepticism in Italy in comparison to those in Germany and Hungary

Author Names

tiffany dangFollow

Authors' Affiliations

Tiffany Dang, Department of Political Science. College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Political Science, International Affairs & Public Administration

Type

Oral Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Political Science

Abstract Text

With the rise of the right- and left-wing populism growing in Europe, it is important for political scientists to look into this trend and what might be causing it. Studying the rise of Populism throughout Europe is important because of its potential threats to democracy. In this research, I examine one trend that may attribute to this growth of these political parties. In my research, I examine whether Eurosceptic ideas on social media are correlated to electoral success in European Parliament elections. Many populist party leaders have turned to social media to reach out and to gain followers. Social media has been a great platform for misperception and false news. Social media is also relatively easy to use and is used by many to obtain political information. For this research, I analyze the Twitter accounts of right-winged populist political actors in Germany, Italy, and Hungary during the two years before the 2019 EU Parliament elections. The four leaders looked into were Alice Weidel for the Alternative for Germany, Matteo Salvini for Lega in Italy, Gabor Vona, and Tamas Sneider for Jobbik in Hungary. There are two leaders from Hungary due to the switch in power during the two years. By doing content analysis in this analytical paper and looking into the reactions of followers on these actor’s social media pages, there will be a better understanding of how social media can help spread the growth of Eurosceptic attitudes in citizens in the EU. The anticipated results from this research are that as time progresses towards EP elections, populist actors will increase their social media usage with a stronger emphasis on Eurosceptic ideologies in their posts. With an increase in postings and rhetoric, it is expected that citizens in the EU will be adopting similar views with these leaders and will then vote for these populist parties into the European Parliament. This research is important in helping the EU and its leaders obtain a better understanding of the growth and progression of populism in relation to Euroscepticism and its role in social media. Having a better understanding of the concept, it can aid in slowing the progression of populism and Euroscepticism, the one thing that is undermining its institutions.

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The role of social media in the attitudes of Euroscepticism in Italy in comparison to those in Germany and Hungary

With the rise of the right- and left-wing populism growing in Europe, it is important for political scientists to look into this trend and what might be causing it. Studying the rise of Populism throughout Europe is important because of its potential threats to democracy. In this research, I examine one trend that may attribute to this growth of these political parties. In my research, I examine whether Eurosceptic ideas on social media are correlated to electoral success in European Parliament elections. Many populist party leaders have turned to social media to reach out and to gain followers. Social media has been a great platform for misperception and false news. Social media is also relatively easy to use and is used by many to obtain political information. For this research, I analyze the Twitter accounts of right-winged populist political actors in Germany, Italy, and Hungary during the two years before the 2019 EU Parliament elections. The four leaders looked into were Alice Weidel for the Alternative for Germany, Matteo Salvini for Lega in Italy, Gabor Vona, and Tamas Sneider for Jobbik in Hungary. There are two leaders from Hungary due to the switch in power during the two years. By doing content analysis in this analytical paper and looking into the reactions of followers on these actor’s social media pages, there will be a better understanding of how social media can help spread the growth of Eurosceptic attitudes in citizens in the EU. The anticipated results from this research are that as time progresses towards EP elections, populist actors will increase their social media usage with a stronger emphasis on Eurosceptic ideologies in their posts. With an increase in postings and rhetoric, it is expected that citizens in the EU will be adopting similar views with these leaders and will then vote for these populist parties into the European Parliament. This research is important in helping the EU and its leaders obtain a better understanding of the growth and progression of populism in relation to Euroscepticism and its role in social media. Having a better understanding of the concept, it can aid in slowing the progression of populism and Euroscepticism, the one thing that is undermining its institutions.

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