Populism, Storytelling, and Polarization in Mexico

24 October 2022, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


According to the ideational definition of populism, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), has certainly exhibited a populist narrative (Sarsfield 2022). Departing from such conceptualization, this work tries to explore, however, the contextual dimensions in AMLO's narrative that here, following a growing literature on political rhetoric, we call “storytelling” (e.g., Engesser et al. 2021). We define the idea of storytelling as the “art of telling a story where emotions, characters and other details are applied” in order “to promote a particular point of view or set of values” (Nordensvard and Ketola 2021, p.2). Focusing on a single-case study, this work concerns what are the stories that AMLO uses in his Twitter account and which of these stories provokes greater polarization among his followers. Although the results are not conclusive, findings suggest that we call the “conspiracy theory” and “ostracizing the others” stories push individuals to greater polarization.




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