Faculty of Political Science and Journalism, Adam Mickiewicz University
THE POPULIST RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE POSITIONS OF DUDA AND FERNÁNDEZ
Drawing on the theory of political myths and qualitative source analysis, this article compares political mythologies created by the presidents of Poland and Argentina. The main argument is that they struck populist notes by using conspiracy, saviour, unity, and golden age myths to legitimize government policies during the pandemic. The crisis gave rise to a search for legitimacy for anti-democratic measures limiting pluralism. These leaders persuaded their supporters to respect political changes which facilitate a gradual weakening of democratic institutions in the service of weathering the crisis. The study contributes to our understanding of the presidents’ engagement in institutional change.