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"Ανταγωνισμοί και «καθεστώτα αλήθειας» στον σύγχρονο πολιτικό λόγο: Μετα-αλήθεια, ψευδείς ειδήσεις και προπαγάνδα" Αθήνα. Παρασκευή, 15 Δεκ. Αίθουσα Χατζηδάκη- Τμήμα ΠΕΔΔ Σόλωνος 57, 1ος (κτήριο Μ.Θ.Ε.) Σάββατο, 16 Δεκ. Τμήμα ΠΕΔΔ Θεμιστοκλέους 6

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Political Discourse Analysis Network – Call for Symposium Papers

Contemporary political history provides several examples of confrontations in the frame of which certain articulations of political discourse are denounced, to a greater or lesser extent, as apparatuses deployed for the distortion of reality. Whether referring to demagogy or populism, these characterizations constitute an integral part of the everyday political conflict and generate particular significations and images of its ‘nature’ and function as well as of politics per se. Recently, the distortive function of particular political discourses is discussed by reference to ‘fake’ or ‘alternative’ facts. These are approached either as produced by a central source of misinformation and misdirection, which in the Greek context is reflected in the use of the ‘film editing machine’ metaphor [montagiera], or as circulating through numerous sources involved in a systematic process of distortion often labelled as ‘propaganda’.

The observed expansion of reality distortion phenomena via ‘misleading’ news, opinions, and positions, has recently led to the search for ways of controlling and preventing them. From the construction of software that tracks fake news and questionable political arguments to the scientific analysis itself, which seems aimed at the revelation of the one ‘unique’ truth and its restoration, returning to the positivist aspect of ideology theory as conceptualized by De Tracy, what is put forward as a goal of great political significance is the pursuit of a ‘clear’ and ‘responsible’ political discourse, freed from misdirecting distortions.

The political controversy over ‘distortive’ and ‘misleading’ articulations of political discourse does not mean that the invocation of a ‘non distorted’ and ‘non misleading’ political discourse opposing the former reflects ‘objective realities’. Political forces express and represent given social cleavages and interests, each claiming for itself the ‘objective version’ of reality. Nor should it be implied that all articulations of political discourse are equivalent in terms of their claims for truth and validity. Certain political discourses achieve hegemony – at least temporarily – or rely on assumptions and evidence which enjoy broad consensus, and are hence enabled to evaluate other political discourses as acts of reality distortion.

Nevertheless, claiming to express the ‘objective reality’ against all kinds of ‘distorted’ and ‘misleading’ versions of it on behalf of individual political forces remains a structural parameter of political struggle. In this context, significant research questions emerge concerning the political and ideological effects of this ‘structural’ component of the political debate. How are given sociopolitical cleavages and divisions discursively articulated and how are they related to claims for an ‘objective reality’ within a general attempt to hegemonize the sociopolitical field? Which discourses, together with the political program they represent, should be designated as ‘distortive’ of reality? By which (opposing) discourses and in what historical circumstances? How do particular discourses gain broad consensus in designating an (opposing) discourse as ‘distortive’ of reality and characterize accordingly its significations (‘demagogic’, ‘populist’, ‘propagandistic’, etc.)? Which social and political identities are formed in the frame of this antagonism? What kind of control mechanisms are proposed to manage and prevent ‘fake news’ and what are their effects on power? To what extent does claiming ‘objective truth’ lead to the gradual acceptance of the idea of its existence thusly ‘naturalizing’ it? Could there be a rational and reflective evaluation of particular antagonistic discourses or ‘regimes of truth’ and how could it be actualized and developed at the level of the scientific analysis of political discourse?

 This symposium is open to the members of the Political Discourse Analysis Network of the Hellenic Political Science Association and all interested scholars or groups of scholars from the social and political sciences and the humanities who wish to submit a presentation proposal elaborating on the aforementioned issues in their national and global dimensions.

 Main topics:

  • Practices that designate a political discourse as ‘distortive’ (‘demagogic’, ‘populist’, ‘propagandistic’, etc.), the particular features ascribed to it as well as the ideological and political implications of such practices.
  • Efforts undertaken to control and prevent phenomena of ‘fake news’ and the relevant discussion among Media and communication scholars, exploring their various forms and versions.
  • Developments regarding the political antagonisms in the contemporary setting in relation to discourses and news that misrepresent/distort ‘reality’.
  • Issues that have to do with theory production as well as the approach to and scientific study of (political) discourse in contemporary settings.

 The Symposium will be held in Athens, on December 15-16, 2017.

Presentations will be held in Greek and English.

 Important dates:

Abstract (200 words) should be submitted (only via easychair) until September 29, 2017.

Submission web link: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=diapolo2

Note: If you don’t own an easychair.org account you have to create one in order to submit your proposal.

The authors will be informed via easychair.org and e-mail  by October 13, 2017.

contact:  symposium.discourse@gmail.com