Global Populism: Its Roots in Media and Religion| The Role of Religion in Construction of the People and the Others: A Study of Populist Discourse in the Polish Media

Agnieszka Stepińska


This article reflects on the roles of religion in the populist discourse in Poland. In particular, the article examines strategies of constructing the people and the others (both vertical, as in the elite, and horizontal, as in out-groups) through references to religion in Polish print media. The article offers insights into relations between populism and religion in the Polish sociopolitical context determined by strong Christian roots, the highly influential position of the Roman Catholic Church in the public sphere, and the presence of Catholic-national outlets in the media system. The findings showed that religion can be used in several ways in the populist discourse. First, it can be used to differentiate between the people who share the same religion and those who have other values and beliefs. Second, the discourse discredits the elite as either rejecting Christian values or being hypocrites. Finally, the discourse considers the institution of the Roman Catholic Church as being the elite, and thus detached from the people.


populist discourse, religion, media content, Poland

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