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Catarina Kinnvall on Governing Emotions: Hybrid media, Ontological Insecurity and the Normalisation of Far-Right Fantasies’

Catarina Kinnvall has together with co-author Pasko Kisić Merino (Karlstad University) published the article ‘Governing Emotions: Hybrid media, Ontological Insecurity and the Normalisation of Far-Right Fantasies’ in Alternatives: Global, Local, Political.

Portrait picture of Catarina Kinnvall


Focusing on the debates on ‘due impartiality’ provided to far-right leaders in Swedish media, this article uses a Lacanian approach to address the relationship between the practices of normalisation of far-right discourses and fantasies, and the evolution of emotional governance at the interstice of old (i.e. traditional) and new (e.g. social media) media.

Emotional governance refers to the everyday emotionally charged utterances and statements made by political leaders. However, this phenomenon can also be read in a larger Foucauldian sense as techniques of surveillance, control and manipulation and as related to narrative representational fantasies.

Studies dealing with the normalisation of far-right discourse from a media perspective tend to focus on framing, journalistic norms, market structures and business incentives. We aim to expand these perspectives by opening a discussion on the interplay between the ontological (in)securities attached to the emotional governance of far-right leaders, and the techno-social affordances and roles provided to (and by) ‘old’ and ’new’ actors in the hybrid media ecosystem.

We further analyse this interplay by looking at the particular fantasies embedded in it and the consequences of the enactment of ‘due impartiality' and equal footing’ norms and practices in the Swedish media landscape.

Online first:

The article can be accessed at

Read more about Catarina Kinnvall on her personal page