Anti-Soros Conspiracy Rhetoric in Slovak Parliamentary Discourse: Actors, Narratives, and Implications
(Antisorošovská konšpiračná rétorika v slovenskom parlamentnom diskurze: aktéri, naratívy a dopady)
Politické vedy, Volume 25, Number 2/2022, pages 177-207
Recommended form for quotation of the article / Odporúčaná forma citácie článku:
ZVADA, L. 2022. Anti-Soros Conspiracy Rhetoric in Slovak Parliamentary Discourse: Actors, Narratives, and Implications. In Politické Vedy. Vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 177-207. ISSN 1335 – 2741. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24040/politickevedy.2022.25.2.177-207
This paper contributes to the very up-to-date topic of conspiracy theory. The main goal of this study is to analyse the main 'anti-Soros' narratives within Slovak parliamentary discourse. Due to qualitative content analysis, based on N=84 parliamentary speeches and comments, the author detected four main narratives that included several conspiracies. Four concrete narratives: (1) influence on Slovak politics; (2) delegitimisation of political opponents; (3) the anti-Semitic conspiracy ground; (4) the supporter and organiser have instrumentalised George Soros to their rhetoric while combining classical conspiracies narratives. The final narrative (5) condemnation of anti-Soros rhetoric, which represents de facto only founded counter-narrative and was significantly minor. In this context, and keeping in mind that anti-Soros discourse was four times bigger than the discourse condemning the use of this rhetoric, the author argues that the continuance of this dividing verbiage based on legitimising conspiracies could contribute to further polarising Slovak politics and society. On the other hand, the popularity of conspiracy theories must lead social scientists to (re)think even more about the mainstream discourses created over the last thirty years, which conspiracy narratives naturally oppose. It should also lead to examining the actors who set the principles and boundaries of mainstream discourses.
Key words: conspiracy theory, Slovak politics, Soros, discourse, narratives, parliamentary debates, CAQDAS, MAXQDA, qualitative content analysis, far-right, rhetoric, speech.