Western societies are under siege, as fake news, post-truth and alternative facts are undermining the very core of democracy. This dystopian narrative is currently circulated by intellectuals, journalists and policy makers worldwide. In this book, Johan Farkas and Jannick Schou deliver a comprehensive study of post-truth discourses. They critically map the normative ideas contained in these and present a forceful call for deepening democracy.

The dominant narrative of our time is that democracy is in a state of emergency caused by social media, changes to journalism and misinformed masses. This crisis needs to be resolved by reinstating truth at the heart of democracy, even if this means curtailing civic participation and popular sovereignty. Engaging with critical political philosophy, Farkas and Schou argue that these solutions neglect the fact that democracy has never been about truth alone: it is equally about the voice of the democratic people.

Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy delivers a sobering diagnosis of our times. It maps contemporary discourses on truth and democracy, foregrounds their normative foundations and connects these to historical changes within liberal democracies. The book will be of interest to students and scholars studying the current state and future of democracy, as well as to a politically informed readership.

chapter 1|13 pages


chapter 2|28 pages

Political Theory in Post-factual Times

part I|1 pages

Into Post-truth Worlds

chapter 3|23 pages

Prophecies of Post-truth

chapter 4|19 pages

US Politics in Post-truth Worlds

chapter 5|21 pages

Restoring Democracy

part II|1 pages

Out of Post-truth Worlds

chapter 6|18 pages

Post-truth and Post-politics

Splitting the Difference

chapter 7|24 pages

Ways Out? Truth, Technology and Democracy

chapter 8|6 pages


Looking to the Future