chapter  1
13 Pages

Introduction

ByJohan Farkas, Jannick Schou

On 25 April 2018, French president Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech to the U.S. Congress in which he argued that fake news has become an “ever-growing virus” destroying democracy from within. By doing so, he channeled an increasingly dominant narrative in contemporary political debates: namely that democracy is dying and can only be saved through truth, rationality and consensus. This book presents a critical examination of these ideas, arguing that not only are they inaccurate, they also risk leading to anti-democratic solutions in the name of democracy. This first chapter sets the scene for the rest of the book. It outlines the book’s core structure, main arguments and approach. In doing so, it not only situates this book in the wider field of academic literature, but also emphasizes the distinct contribution of mapping the contemporary politics of falsehood.