Cancel Culture: COVID-19, (Un)Democratic Mobilization, and Political Participation


  • Anugo Samuel Obiefuna
  • Paul Ani Onuh


Cancel Culture, Political Participation, Democratization, COVID-19 Pandemic, Right of Dissent


In recent times, the battles of ideologies in our multicultural world have assumed new dimensions. Some of the dimensions include the censorship of thought and speech. While this is not a new phenomenon in human history, it has emerged as a new challenge to multiculturalism, freedom and democracy in Europe and other places. Though censorship of free thought and speech has always been a challenge to participation, the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in 2019 and the efforts by governments, organisations and groups across the world to contain the pandemic led to further escalation of censorship in the form of ‘cancel culture’. This study examines how cancel culture, as a form of (un)democratic mobilization, has impacted political participation and democratization in Europe during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our argument will be hinged on the conceptual framework of ‘right of dissent.’ The study generally relies on data from secondary sources and adopts qualitative descriptive method of data analysis.