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Title:Foreign policy as fake news? Bolsonaro’s electoral fearmongering campaign in Brazil (2018)
Author(s):Batista da Silva, Flavia
Advisor(s):Karam, John
Contributor(s):Sin, Gisela
Department / Program:Spanish and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Fake News
Abstract:My research examines the use of foreign policy in presidential elections. It approaches foreign policy as a fertile site for the faking and making of news that presidential candidates employed during elections. Specifically, I analyze how and for what purpose(s) Bolsonaro framed Venezuela and the United States during his 2018 presidential campaign in Brazil. I show that Bolsonaro used the two countries in different ways and with conflicting purposes: While depicting Venezuela as a “threat” to Brazilian society and connecting his opponent, Fernando Haddad, with Nicol s Maduro’s regime in Venezuela (intoning, “Brazil cannot become a new Venezuela”), Bolsonaro treated the United States as a positive example of what his own administration would look like, linking his campaign to Trump’s administration and embracing “Make Brazil Great Again” as a motto. My hypothesis is that whether articulating foreign policy toward Venezuela or the United States, Bolsonaro’s electoral campaign weaponized social media in ways that created both foreign enemies and allies and forged new or tighter connections to Haddad’s and his own campaign. To explore these dynamics, I engage and put into dialogue literature on social media, fearmongering, and fake news, bodies of scholarship that have often remained isolated from one another. This research will be supported by a qualitative analysis of primary sources deriving from Bolsonaro’s and his supporters’ online activity on Twitter and Facebook from 2017 through October 2018.
Issue Date:2021-07-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Flavia Batista da Silva
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-01-12
Date Deposited:2021-08

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