Political Theory in Post-factual Times
Chapter 2 presents the methodological and theoretical foundation of the book. More specifically, it describes how key insights from post-Marxist discourse theory – not least as developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe – are useful for understanding and unpacking contemporary post-truth worlds. The chapter delineates the underlying ontological premises for the study, describing why post-foundationalist political philosophy might be a productive starting point for investigating contemporary struggles in and around questions of democracy, truth and facts. Following this, the chapter turns to the methodological components involved in studying such struggles. In this chapter, we outline our methods for collecting an archive of more than 500 public documents, consisting of international news articles, media comments, political speeches, scholarly articles, books and policy reports, and reflect on some of the limitations facing such an approach. Taken together, the chapter offers a bridge between the introduction and the first analytical part of the book. It takes us to the heart of contemporary debates on post-truth and the state of democracy.