Chapter

Social Media in Politics

Volume 13 of the series Public Administration and Information Technology pp 141-163

Date:

Twitter Campaigning in the 2011 National Election in Slovenia

Strategy and Application of the Twitter Social Media Outlet in Party Election Campaigns
  • Tomaž DeželanAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, Centre for Political Science Research, University of Ljubljana Email author 
  • , Igor VobičAffiliated withDepartment of Communication, Social Communication Research Centre, University of Ljubljana
  • , Alem MaksutiAffiliated withFaculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana

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Abstract

The chapter examines the Twitter campaigning of parliamentary political parties and their influential members during the 2011 preterm national election campaign. We examine the rationales behind the adoption and appropriation of Twitter in the Slovenian political arena. Content analysis of 4,610 Tweets and conducted interviews with campaign managers of seven lists of candidates allowed us to revisit three perennial hypotheses about political communication on the web: the copycat, revolution and normalisation hypotheses. While the examined parties’ move into the Twittersphere confirmed the copycat hypothesis, their utilisation of the tool revealed mixed evidence for the revolution vs. normalisation dilemma. Party campaigning did show signs of ‘politics as usual’, with political powerhouses taking the lead on Twitter as well. However, it also demonstrated a substantial degree of genuine direct political interaction between politicians and citizens.

Keywords

Twitter Slovenia Election campaign Copycat theory Normalisation thesis