2024_17_3_6 - XLinguae

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Open access Issues > Issue n_3_2024 > Section_n_3_2024
Fear as a tool of the electoral narration of the conservative-populist right wing in Poland

Jakub Potulski – Arkadiusz Modrzejewski

DOI: 10.18355/XL.2024.17.03.06

In 2015, the right-wing alliance known as the Zjednoczona Prawica (United Right), whose main member is the conservative Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) party, enjoyed two spectacular victories in Poland's presidential and parliamentary elections. For eight consecutive years, the United Right has ruled, violating the rule of law, restricting the independence of the judiciary and the application of human rights, distancing Poland from European democratic standards. Fear management was an effective tool not only during the election campaigns, but also during the parliamentary term, which successfully mobilised the electorate and a part of Polish society susceptible to a narrative based on the creation of forces threatening Poland's sovereignty, national identity and the security of the state and citizens. Fear has been caused by migrants, especially those from outside the European cultural circle, the LGBT community, and Poland's closest neighbour and most important economic partner, Germany. In conditions of so-called cultural trauma, a reaction to profound socio-cultural changes, this strategy was extremely effective, leading to the extreme polarisation of Polish society, and ensured support to maintain the power gained in 2015. In this article, the authors provide examples of fear management, placing them in a broader theoretical context, by referring to statements made by leading right-wing politicians, as well as messages in the public media, which in 2016 were taken over by the conservative-populist right and became a de facto party propaganda channel.

Key words: populism, Poland, fear in political narration, Law and Justice, hate speech

Pages: 64-80

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