Post-Truth Politics


Post-truth politics, nationalism and the (de-)legitimation of European integration (PTP) is a research network that aims to address the possible impact of ‘fake news’, disinformation and ‘post-truth politics’ on the legitimation and delegitimation of European integration.

About the project

Fake news, disinformation and manipulation of the media are widely perceived to constitute a fundamental challenge to modern liberal-representative democracies. In an era of post-truth politics, digital media has increasingly replaced traditional legacy media as the most important source and venue of political information and communication.

This is a fundamental shift since information online is often unverified by gatekeepers at news outlets. Information spreads without professional input from journalists. This proliferation of digital media therefore raises concerns about the quality of democratic discourse, since it can be used for manipulative purposes to spread false and unfiltered information, and potentially affect the electoral decisions of citizens in liberal democracies.

This is a particular challenge in terms of the possible impact of disinformation on public support for the European project as such. Especially since the lingering democratic deficit debate in the EU has identified lack of knowledge about the functioning of the European institutions as one of the key problems regarding the democratic legitimation of the EU. In other words, if there is a lack of knowledge to begin with, then the possible impact of disinformation is heightened.

In addition, the project will address the related topic of why disinformation appears to have such an appeal to nationalist and/or populist actors on the far right and examine whether similar strategies are visible on the left of the political spectrum. These actors often identify the European Union as the root cause of many of the ‘evils’ that nationalist movements claim to tackle. In this regard, European integration is seen as a fundamental attack on the imagined community of the sovereign nation state.


The central objective of the project is to analyze, through a series of case studies, both the extent and possible impact of the proliferation of disinformation and fake news via digital and other media, but also through more conventional mobilization and communication mechanisms, on processes of legitimation and delegitimation of European integration in the public sphere.


Upcoming Events:

International Conference: Fake News, Disinformation and Post-Truth Politics: Comparting the European Union and other Western Democracies

August 31, 2022 – September 2, 2022

University of Victoria, Canada

(hybrid options available)

Details: The Jean Monnet Network on Post-Truth Politics, Nationalism and the (De-)Legitimation of European

Integration is organizing a conference from August 31, 2022 – September 2, 2022 at the University of

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. We invite proposals for individual papers on the subject of fake

news, disinformation and post-truth politics looking at the impact of these issues on Western

Democracies and the European Union in a comparative perspective.


Deadline for Submissions: April 29, 2022


See the full Call for Proposals, including submission information, here


Previous Events:

Open seminar: The Covid pandemic against the backdrop of post-truth politics

Thursday 18 March at 13.00 - 15.00 at the Nordic House 

Controversies surrounding the question of how best to tackle the ongoing Covid pandemic are a striking illustration of the challenges of post-truth politics for liberal democracies. Social and other digital media provide an infrastructure through which deliberate disinformation and conspiracy theories can spread more easily than ever before. At the same time, populist politicians have fuelled a disdain for scientific expertise and even for basic facts. In various liberal democracies, this has created political cultures in which the symbolic authority of the truth has been fundamentally undermined, accompanied by an erosion of trust in established media institutions. Yet at the same time, the pandemic has also served as a reminder of the necessity of scientific research and trust in the institutions that communicate the findings of such research.

Opening remarks by Professor Maximilian Conrad, University of Iceland

Keynote address by Professor Saul Newman, Goldsmiths, University of London


Elfa Ýr Gylfadóttir, Director of the Media Commission in Iceland

Professor Guðmundur Hálfdánarson, University of Iceland
Jón Gunnar Ólafsson, Post Doc, University of Iceland


Auður Örlygsdóttir, Project Manager, Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre at the University of Iceland

This workshop is part of the Jean Monnet Network Post-Truth Politics, Nationalism and the (De-)Legitimation of European Integration, led by Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre at the University of Iceland, in collaboration with five other universities from Europe and North America.The workshop is organized as a hybrid event and takes place both on site in the Nordic House (with a limited audience) and is streamed and recorded as a webinar via Zoom. Further information will be provided closer to the event.

For more information, please visit:


Research Gate 



Project Leader: 

Maximilian Conrad

Project Manager:

Auður Örlygsdóttir