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Discourse & Society ; : 09579265221095420, 2022.
Article in English | Sage | ID: covidwho-1883425


This article highlights how the recent discourse of ?the new normal? ? re-initiated and widely used in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in national and international media and political discourse ? marks the advent of a new approach to ?crisis? in the normalisation of far-right populist politics. Drawing on the example of the analysis of ?policy communication? genres pre-legitimising the Polish right-wing populist government?s recent actions aimed at curtailing media freedom and controlling opposition media, the article shows that, in the context of an undisputed crisis such as the recent pandemic, the right-wing populist imagination has gradually and strategically altered its usual, highly ambivalent approach to crisis. However, the latter?s new, (quasi) ?factual? imaginary has, as is shown, become a tool in the further escalation and normalisation of far-right political strategies and policies, especially with regard to new far right strategies of media control aimed at the systemic colonisation of the wider public sphere. Therein, as the article shows, far-right actors often resort to a very peculiar ? and by now common ? adoption of many pro-democratic arguments while ?flipsiding? them in favour of far-right arguments and pre-legitimising their own undemocratic politics of control and exclusion.