The Study of Election Campaigning

  • Shaun Bowler
  • David M. Farrell
Part of the Contemporary Political Studies book series (CONTPOLSTUD)


Election campaigns attract great attention from voters, media and academics alike. The academics, however, tend to focus their research on the electoral result and on societal and long-term political factors influencing that result. The election campaign — the event of great interest, which has at least some role to play in affecting the result — is usually passed over or at most receives minimal attention. It is generally left to the journalists and pundits to give their insights into the campaign; scanning every television programme and newspaper for the latest news or gossip, scrutinising every campaign development — whether an initiative or gaffe — for its potential effect on the result. These are ‘the boys on the bus,’ the campaign journalists who, emulating Theodore White (1961), provide fascinating accounts of the nitty-gritty of election campaigning.1 But such studies emphasise the short-term and the ephemeral, rather than the underlying process to any campaign. They necessarily stress the unique rather than the general and as such promote the view of campaigns and campaigning as behaviour specific to each election, indeed to each party.


Party System Election Campaign Presidential Campaign Political Market Campaign Message 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Macmillan Press Ltd 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaun Bowler
  • David M. Farrell

There are no affiliations available

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