Political Communication and Social Theory presents an advanced and challenging text for students and scholars of political communication and mass media in democracies. It draws together work from across political communication, media sociology and political sociology, and includes a mix of theoretical debate and current examples from several democratic media systems. Its wide ranging discussions both introduce and contest the traditional scholarship on a number of contemporary topics and issues. These include:
comparative political and media systems
theories of democracy, representation and the public sphere
political party communication, marketing and elections
the production of news media and public policy
media sociology and journalist-source relations
celebrity politics, popular culture and political leadership
new media and online democracy
national-global politics and international political communication
foreign policy-making, war and media
the crisis of public communication in established democracies.
At the same time, Political Communication and Social Theory also offers a fascinating investigation of the causes of crisis in established political and media systems. In today's democracies, trust in politicians, state institutions and mainstream media sources has dropped to new lows. The traditional business model that sustained journalism is failing and nations are struggling to respond to the existing global recession and impending environmental and resource crises. Drawing on interviews with over 100 experienced politicians, journalists and civil servants, Aeron Davis explores how the varied political actors and communicative processes, at the centre of UK democracy, may or may not be contributing to such crisis tendencies.
Aeron Davis is a Reader and Director of the MA in Political Communication in the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths College, London. He is the author of Public Relations Democracy (2002) and The Mediation of Power (2007).
List of Tables and Figures Preface and Acknowledgements 1. In Search of the `Good' Democracy: Comparing Political and Media Systems 2. Citizens, Political Representation and Parliamentary Public Spheres 3. Professionalised Parties, the Electoral Mechanism and the New Wave of Party Leaders: The Rise of David Cameron 4. The Production of Policy and News: Liquid Politics and the Working Cultures of the New Capitalism 5. Journalist-Source Relations, Mediated Reflexivity and the Politics of Politics 6. Celebrity Politics, Symbolic Communication and Media Capital in the Political Field 7. New Media and Fat Democracy: The Paradox of Online Participation 8. Politics and Communication Between the National and the Global: Determining the Boundaries and Significance of `International Political Communication' 9. Foreign Policy-Making, War and the Disembedding of Cosmopolitan Elite Networks: The Case of Iraq 2003 10. The `Crisis' of Politics and Communication in Ageing Democracies List of Interviewees Bibliography Index