Discursive disruption — loosely defined as the breakdown of the conventions and power relations of a fatigued Western liberal democracy — has become the new normal. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, it will seek to understand the advance and allure of the populist communication style in the era of mediatization. It proposes a critical framework based on three categories—identity construction, rhetorical style, and relationship with the media—to assess the relevant features of the communicative styles of left-wing Chávez and right-wing Trump. Second, drawing on lessons from Chávez’s Venezuela, this paper will seek to explore three threads of analysis:

  1. the rise and normalization of Trump’s populist communication style;
  2. the fierce confrontation Trump-media and intense mediatisation of politics as happened in Venezuela, where Chávez made a ‘brutal’ use of media;
  3. whether the populist communication style – as practiced in Venezuela but also elsewhere – leads to the disruption not only of the political conversation but of the political system itself.

About Alumni Events

The Alumni and Community Relations team coordinates a range of events locally and internationally. You can keep up to date with UQ alumni events in your area by updating your details.