On Friday, November 15, Malmö University’s School of Arts and Communication is hosting a book talk and reception for the new book, Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy: Mapping the Politics of Falsehood, by PhD fellow Johan Farkas and Jannick Schou (PhD).

The event is open for all.


Friday, November 15

  • 14.00-15.00: Book talk by Johan Farkas, PhD Fellow at Malmö University, Niagara, Hörsal B1.
  • 15.00-15.30: Book reception in Niagara, Atrium.

Talk description

Democracies are currently under siege, as fake news are flooding social media and post-truth sentiments roam throughout society. This dystopian narrative has come to dominate political agendas across the globe. To save democracy – a number of voices argue – radical measures are needed. Indeed, for many, truth must be restored at all cost. In this talk, Johan Farkas critically examines these contemporary post-truth discourses by honing in on and challenging their democratic underpinnings.

Drawing on rich empirical material, the talk unpacks how post-truth discourses presuppose a certain normative idea of what democracy is and ought to be. Not only is democracy configured as a static construct in these discourses, it is also equated very narrowly with evidence-based decision-making and truth-telling practices. Engaging with critical political philosophy, Farkas highlights how these ‘democratic imaginaries’ neglect how democracy has never been about truth, evidence and rationality alone. It is equally about the voice of the democratic people. By neglecting this cornerstone of the democratic tradition, post-truth discourses reproduce and strengthen a risky vision of democracy – one in which consensus and rationality dominate over civic voices and popular dispute. By doing so, contemporary post-truth discourses – and the solutions they contain – might end up deepening existing democratic problems. What we need now – perhaps more than ever – is not necessarily more truth, but more politics proper. We need to fortify our democratic institutions by once again making space for popular dispute, difference and agonistic confrontations.

The talk is based on Johan Farkas and Jannick Schou’s new book, Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy: Mapping the Politics of Falsehood, published by Routledge.

Find the book here

About Johan Farkas

Johan Farkas is a PhD Fellow in Media and Communication Studies at Malmö University, Sweden. His research engages with the intersection of digital media platforms, disinformation, politics, journalism and democracy. Farkas has published on these topics in international journals such as New Media & Society, Social Media + Society, and Critical Discourse Studies. In September 2019, his debut book, Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy: Mapping the Politics of Falsehood (with Jannick Schou) is published by Routledge. The book presents a detailed analysis of contemporary discourses of fake news and post-truth, offering both a trenchant critique and call for more inclusive forms of democracy. Farkas is currently Chair of the Young Scholars Network of the European Communication Research and Education Association (YECREA).

Website: http://johanfarkas.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/farkasjohan