Populism in the era of Twitter: How social media contextualized new insights into an old phenomenon

Homero Gil de Zúñiga, Karolina Koc Michalska, Andrea Römmele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


With the advent of social media, political communication scholars have systematically revised theories and empirical corollaries revolving media use and democracy at large. Interestingly, in about the same period of time, a reinvigorated political populism trend has taken place across different latitudes in the world. This widespread populist movement has expanded regardless of whether these political systems were established democracies, emerging democracies, or societies immersed in political contexts at peril. This essay serves as the introductory piece to a special issue on populism. First, it highlights the ways in which “populism,” being an old phenomenon, has further transpired into the political realm in the era of social media. Second, the essay seeks to better contextualize what populism is and how it has developed within today’s hybrid media society. Finally, this introduction also lays out the ground to six central theoretical and data-driven papers that encapsulate many of the important issues revolving the phenomenon of populism today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-594
Number of pages10
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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