In S.Lemiere, Illusions of Democracy: Malaysian Politics and People (Europe and Americas Edition), Chapter 5

August 15, 2018

In the social sciences, the role of emotion in politics is not a new axis but is only starting to be taken up as a possibility in the study of political phenomena (Braud 1996); the notion of ‘illusion’ and the performance and fabrication of legitimacy have yet to be explored. This chapter looks at the longevity of UMNO’s rule and offers an explanation for the stability of Malaysian political power by exploring the imagination and fabrication of power and politics.

This chapter develops the idea of the political fabrication of reality through the orchestration of the collective imaginary. An analysis of the Syrian state and propaganda prior to 2011 in a comparative perspective will show how, despite popular contentions leading to civil conflict and international war, the regime has been able to maintain itself through a fabrication of legitimacy and a construction of power.

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