Post-Truth, Fake News, and Democracy: A Critical Examination

Join CCDS as we welcome Johan Farkas to the iSchool on Wednesday, September 25th, to discuss "Post-Truth, Fake News, and Democracy: A Critical Examination". This event is targeted towards faculty and PhD students, with a lunch for PhD students with Johan following this talk. 

Democracies are currently under siege, as fake news are flooding social media and post-truth sentiments roam throughout society. This dystopian narrative has come to dominate political agendas across the globe. To save democracy – a number of voices argue – radical measures are needed. Indeed, for many, truth must be restored at all cost. In this talk, Johan Farkas critically examines these contemporary post-truth discourses by honing in on and challenging their democratic underpinnings.

Drawing on rich empirical material, the talk unpacks how post-truth discourses presuppose a certain normative idea of what democracy is and ought to be. Not only is democracy configured as a static construct in these discourses, it is also equated very narrowly with evidence-based decision-making and truth-telling practices. Engaging with critical political philosophy, Farkas highlights how these ‘democratic imaginaries’ neglect how democracy has never been about truth, evidence and rationality alone. It is equally about the voice of the democratic people. By neglecting this ...

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