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Political Communication

Winfried Schulz

Subject Politics
Communication Reception and Effects » Communication, Politics and Elections

People Habermas, Jurgen

Key-Topics democracy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Communication is considered to be political if it relates to the exchange of messages among political actors. For example, most of what politicians do is political communication. Likewise, citizens communicate politics when they discuss political issues with friends or family members, phone in to political radio talks shows, or participate in political chats on the Internet. Demonstrations and other forms of protest are more expressive, sometimes even violent, forms of political communication. However, only few people engage in such forms of communicative activity. Most citizens confine themselves to the role of passive spectators of politics that is presented by mass media. Nevertheless, the consumption of political media reports is a form of political communication too. In abstract terms, the category of political actors includes all groups, organizations, and individuals who are participating in the process of collectively binding decision-making in society. Some of these actions – and the corresponding communications – take place backstage, i.e., in the arcane spheres of party assemblies, parliamentary commissions, diplomatic negotiations, and meetings in government offices. But a major part is performed in public, for example when politicians give public speeches, debate in a parliamentary plenum, or present statements in front of television cameras. Communication research ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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