This article analyzes the Alternative for Germany's campaign for the 2019 European Parliament elections against the backdrop of the phenomenon of “post-truth politics.” Post-truth politics is operationalized here as the strategic deployment of misleading frames and argumentative as well as evaluative styles. This has become a standard tool in the repertoire of populist actors, and in German politics, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is a case in point. Despite the party's thematic shift from issues of European integration to migration and multiculturalism, the European Union (eu) still represents an important point of reference in the party's rhetoric. Empirically, this article addresses the importance of post-truth politics in the AfD's campaign by examining the frames and evaluative styles employed by the party and its leading candidates in evoking negative images of the eu, considering in particular social and other digital media as important venues for such processes.
Maximilian Conrad is a Professor and Head of the Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland. His main research interests include European integration, German politics, and political theory, particularly issues connected to democracy, communication, civil society, and the public sphere. Recent and ongoing research includes work on the emergence and implications of post-truth politics for liberal democracy in Europe and elsewhere. He is the Academic Coordinator of the Jean Monnet Network titled “Post-Truth Politics, Nationalism and the (De)Legitimation of European Integration.”