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Election campaigning enters a fourth phase: the mediatized campaign

Die vierte Phase der Wahlkampfkampagne: mediatisierte Kampagnen

An Erratum to this article was published on 19 January 2017

Abstract

Thus far, the literature on election campaigns has identified three phases of campaigning: the pre-modern, the modern, and the professionalized phase. With this paper, we suggest that election campaigning has entered a fourth phase, characterized by new applications of communication technologies, quantitative data, immediate communications, a reinvented citizen-politics relationship offering more emotional access and lower barriers for active roles for citizens in campaigns. We root the change in the citizen-media nexus, with changes in media use and production being a major driver of this development. The classification of the ‘Mediatized Campaign’ emphasizes the role of media use and the connected changes in political and social institutions. We suggest that this classification can add coherence to future research on campaigning.

Zusammenfassung

Die wissenschaftliche Literatur unterscheidet bis dato zwischen drei historischen Phasen der Wahlkampfkampagne: die vormoderne, die moderne und die professionalisierte Phase. Mit diesem Aufsatz schlagen wir eine vierte idealtypische Phase der Wahlkampfkampagne vor. Diese vierte Phase setzt sich von den vorherigen Phasen durch die intensivierte Nutzung neuer Kommunikationstechnologien, quantitative Datenanalyse und auf unmittelbarem Austausch basierende Kommunikationsparadigmen ab. Ein weiterer Fokus liegt in dieser Phase auf dem neu entstandenen Verhältnis zwischen Bürgern und Politik, in dem der Zugang zur Kampagnenführung niedrigschwelliger ist und die emotionale Bindung in den Vordergrund gerückt wird. Veränderte Nachfrage, Anwendung und Produktion von Medien stellen die zentralen Entwicklungen in dieser Phase dar. Im Spannungsfeld zwischen Bürger und Medien ordnen wir den Hauptimpuls für den Wandel ein. Die neue Phase, die wir als ‚Mediatisierte Kampagne‘ bezeichnen, hebt die Rolle der Medien hervor und macht auf die damit verbundenen Entwicklungen in politischen und gesellschaftlichen Institutionen aufmerksam. Dieser Ansatz verleiht künftiger Wahlkampfforschung eine kohärente Struktur und weist eine potenzielle Forschungsrichtung aus.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    http://www.degepol.de.

  2. 2.

    http://www.theaapc.org.

  3. 3.

    http://www.abcop.com.br/a/index.asp.

  4. 4.

    http://www.appc.org.uk.

  5. 5.

    http://iapc.org/.

  6. 6.

    http://www.eapc.eu/.

  7. 7.

    http://gspm.gwu.edu/political-management.

  8. 8.

    I. e. Michael Spreng, former editor-in-chief of the BILD-Zeitung, Germany’s biggest tabloid paper, was Edmund Stoiber’s chief strategist in the 2002 campaign. Alastair Campbell, formerly chief of staff at UKs Daily Mirror and Today, had a leading role in Tony Blair’s 1997 New Labour campaign and became government spokesperson after New Labour’s victory.

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This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Andrea Römmele.

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An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s41358-017-0071-6.

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Römmele, A., von Schneidmesser, D. Election campaigning enters a fourth phase: the mediatized campaign. Z Politikwiss 26, 425–442 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41358-016-0070-z

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Keywords

  • Political Communication
  • Election Campaign
  • Party Identification
  • Political Engagement
  • Political Information