Political communication – between citizens, politicians, parties or other political organizations – is a central component of every society. And it is almost always conveyed via media. Who is responsible for shaping this communication though? Via which media does the communication take place and how does political communication impact upon the shaping of people’s opinions?
These questions are at the center of the IKMZ focus «Political Communication». They are examined in international comparisons and using interdisciplinary approaches. The issues of this focus area include, among other things,
- structures of political communication, i.e. different media systems, political systems and public sphere(s),
- the protagonists of political communication, e.g. politicians and journalists as well as NGOs or bloggers, and political processes (such as election campaigns), and their strategies,
- the effect of political communication on citizens’ opinions, emotions, knowledge and forms of involvement, such as the effect upon their political views, voting decisions or potential disenchantment with politics,
- the content of legacy information sources (i.e. news on broadcast channels, in print and online) as well as alternative media sources (blogs, social media channels), their quality and contribution to political communication,
- the changes to politics itself brought about by the media – its «mediatization»