Communication and Political Process

  • Fabio de NardisEmail author


Talking about politics without considering its communicative dimension is no longer possible. The development of the mass media has had such a decisive impact on the dynamics of the political process that there is a mediatisation of public action. Within this framework, we find the space of political communication that takes place in the symbolic and asymmetric exchange between media, political actors and citizens. The political system and the media industry are now linked by a relationship of interdependence: on the one hand, politicians are always looking for visibility in a public space transformed into a mediatised political arena; on the other hand, the media need politics as a source of information and a place of decision-making even with respect to the economic and institutional conditions in which media professions can be performed. The effects of the centrality of the media on politics are expressed above all in its personalisation and spectacularisation, while citizens, who seem destined to play the passive role of mere spectators, maintain a fundamental power because, in democracy, they represent a source of consensus for politics and profit for the media. Through the means of communication, there are not only effects on politics, but also on the cognitive system and on the behaviour of individuals. The mass media condition the dynamics of political socialisation and set the conditions of political propaganda, influencing electoral guidelines. They can narcotise or stimulate participation and represent, in any case, the main place where public opinion is formed. This chapter will end with a specific section on the central role played by new (digital and social) media in the construction of political mobilisation and participation.


Political communication Political Language Political symbols Electoral campaigns Digital media 


  1. Arterton, F. C. (1984). Media Politics: The News Strategies of Presidential Campaigns. Lexington: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  2. Bailey, F. G. (1969). Political Statements. Contribution to Indian Sociology, 3, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bang, H. (2005). Among Everyday Makers and Expert Citizens. In H. Bang (Ed.), Remaking Governance: People, Politics and the Public Sphere (pp. 159–178). Bristol: Policy Press University of Bristol.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett, W. L., & Segerberg, A. (2013). The Logic of Connective Action: Digital Media and the Personalization of Contentious Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bentivegna, S. (2004). Politica e nuove tecnologie della comunicazione. Roma and Bari: Laterza.Google Scholar
  6. Bimber, B. (2017). Three Prompt for Collective Action in the Context of Digital Media. Political Communication, 34(1).
  7. Bimber, B., & Copeland, L. (2013). Digital Media and Traditional Political Participation over Time in the US. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 10(2), 125–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blumenthal, S. (1982). The Permanent Campaign. New York: Touchstone Books.Google Scholar
  9. Blumler, J. G., & Gurevitch, M. (1975). Towards a Comparative Framework for Political Communication Research. In S. H. Chaffee (Ed.), Political Communication: Issues and Strategies for Research (pp. 165–193). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Blumler, J. G., & Gurevitch, M. (1995). The Crisis of Public Communication. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Blumler, J. G., & Kavanagh, D. (1999). The Third Age of Political Communication: Influences and Features. Political Communication, 16(3), 209–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bongrand, M. (1993). Le marketing politique. Paris: Puf.Google Scholar
  13. Borge, R., & Cardenal, A. S. (2011). Surfing the Net: A Pathway to Participation for the Politically Uninterested. Policy & Internet, 3(1), 1–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Borgström, B. E. (1982). Power Structure and Political Speech. Man, 17(2), 313–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cattaneo, A., & Zanetto, O. (2003). (E)lezioni di successo: Manuale di marketing politico. Milano: Etas.Google Scholar
  16. Chadwick, A. (2013). The hybrid Media System: Politics and Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chesnais, R. (1995). Châsse aux électeurs dans la Rome antique. Médiaspouvoirs, 38, 120–125.Google Scholar
  18. Cook, T. E. (1998). Governing with the News: The News Media as a Political Institution. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Corcoran, P. E. (1990). Language and Politics. In D. L. Swamson & D. D. Nimmo (Eds.), New Directions in Political Communications (pp. 51–85). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Cwalina, W., Falcowski, A., & Newman, B. I. (2011). Political Marketing: Theoretical and Strategical Foundations. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. de Nardis, F. (2002). Logomachia: i linguaggi della politica nelle elezioni amministrative a Roma. Roma: Carocci.Google Scholar
  22. Delli Caprini, M. X., & Keeter, S. (1996). What Americans Know About Politics and Why It Matters. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Edelman, M. (1976). The Symbolic Uses of Politics. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  24. Edelman, M. (1988). Constructing the Political Spectacle. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Franklin, B. (1994). Packaging Politics: Political Communications in Britain’s Media Democracy. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
  26. Ganesh, S., & Stohl, C. (2014). From Wall Street to Wellington: Protests in an Era of Digital Ubiquity. Communication Monographs, 80(4), 425–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gil de Zúñiga, H., Veenstra, A., Vraga, E., & Shah, D. (2010). Digital Democracy: Reimagining Pathways to Political Participation. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 7(1), 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Howard, P., & Hussein, M. (2013). Democracy’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hunt, L. (1984). Politics, Culture and Class in French Revolution. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. Jackson, D. I. (2002). Entertainment and Politics: The Influence of Pop Culture on Young Adult Political Socialization. New York: Lang.Google Scholar
  31. Kaid, L. L., Gerstlé, J., & Sanders, K. R. (Eds.). (1991). Mediated Politics in Two Cultures: Presidential Campaigning in the United States and France. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  32. Kertzer, D. I. (1988). Ritual Politics and Power. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Koc-Michalska, K., & Lilleker, D. (2017). Digital Politics: Mobilization, Engagement, and Participation. Political Communication, 34(1).
  34. Koc-Michalska, K., Lilleker, D. G., Surowiec, P., & Baranowski, P. (2014). Poland’s 2011 Online Election Campaign: New Tools, New Professionalism, New Ways to Win Votes. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 11(2), 186–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lukes, S. (1977). Essays in Social Theory. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Maarek, P. (2001). Communication et marketing de l’homme politique. Paris: Litec.Google Scholar
  37. Mancini, P. (1981). Strategie del discorso politico. Problemi dell’informazione, 6, 195–218.Google Scholar
  38. Martin, L. J. (1981). Government and the News Media. In D. D. Nimmo & D. L. Sanders (Eds.), Handbook of Political Communication (pp. 445–465). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Mazzoleni, G. (2004). Comunicazione politica. Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
  40. Mazzoleni, G., & Schulz, W. (1999). Mediatization of Politics: A Challenge for Democracy? Political Communication, 16(3), 247–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McNair, B. (1995). An Introduction to Political Communication. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. McQuail, D. (1994). Mass Communication Theory. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  43. Morozov, E. (2012). The Net Delusion. The Dark Side of Internet Freedom. New York: Public Affairs.Google Scholar
  44. Mosca, L. (2009). Partecipare comunicando in una società mediatizzata: una introduzione. Partecipazione e conflitto, 1(1), 7–18.Google Scholar
  45. Navarini, G. (1998). Tradizione e post-modernità della politica rituale. Rassegna italiana di sociologia, 39(3), 305–332.Google Scholar
  46. Navarini, G. (2001). Le forme rituali della politica. Roma and Bari: Laterza.Google Scholar
  47. Norris, P. (2000). A Virtuous Circle: Political Communications in Postindustrial Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Price, V. (1992). Public Opinion. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Reboul, O. (1994). Introdution à la rethorique. Paris: Puf.Google Scholar
  50. Rosenstone, S., & Hansen, J. (1993). Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  51. Thompson, J. B. (1995). The Media and Modernity: A Social Theory of the Media. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  52. Thompson, J. B. (2000). Political Scandal: Power and Visibility in the Media Age. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  53. Tufecki, Z., & Wilson, C. (2012). Social Media and the Decision to Participate in Political Protest: Observations from Tahrir Square. Journal of Communication, 62(2), 363–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, B. D. (1981). The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice. Science, 211, 453–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Watts, D. (1997). Political Communication Today. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Wolton, D. (1989). La communication politique: construction d’un modèle. Hermès, 4, 27–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zaller, J. R. (1992). The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Society, and Human StudiesUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly

Personalised recommendations