The theoretical basis for understanding political communication is clearly valuable; all the political theorists who have given the issue any consideration agree that communication has, to varying degrees, a function in political development and processes. Moreover, there is an underlying consensus that communication does allow for popular participation, though the theorists plainly disagree over how extensive and genuine that participation can or should be. Athenian direct democracy is no longer possible; modern society has made its restoration simply impractical. Still, democratic governments remain vexed over how to encourage greater interest and participation in politics, and this is especially troublesome as governments are accused of becoming increasingly distant from the people they supposedly represent at the same time that politicians insist that they have their ear to the ground and are determined to be responsive to public opinion. How has this dichotomous situation come about?
KeywordsPublic Opinion Socialisation Theory Political Process Asylum Seeker Primary Group
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