Civic Participation Faces Resentment: Right-wing Movements in Brazil and the Crisis of Democracy



  • Lorena Caminhas State University of Campinas, Brazil
  • Thales Vilela Lelo University of São Paulo, Brazil


Since 2015, Brazil has been experiencing the explosion of right-wing protests that came to light during the parliamentary coup against former president Dilma Rousseff. These protests were assembled by groups organized in digital media, which claimed forms of democratic participation to propagate undemocratic ideas. In this article, we intend to develop a critical discourse analysis of the Facebook postings of the three major digital right-wing groups in Brazil. Our sample comprises 468 posts made by these three groups when they established profiles on Facebook and at the moment of the major right-wing civil protests in Brazil between 2015 and 2018. We aim to understand the discursive strategies adopted by these groups to undermine democratic citizenship purportedly laying claim to its normative terms. We will sustain that the claims made by far-right groups needed to be normatively evaluated as manifestations of a vengeful resentment. Our goal is to highlight how the research on democratic participation in the digital society will benefit from recognizing the noxious moral emotions expressed by undemocratic activists.