PMCb1009 Political communication

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2022

The course is not taught in Autumn 2022

Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 7 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Mgr. Alena Kluknavská, PhD. (lecturer)
Mgr. et Mgr. Alena Macková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. et Mgr. Alena Macková, Ph.D.
Department of Media Studies and Journalism - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: doc. Mgr. et Mgr. Vlastimil Havlík, Ph.D.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
Course objectives
This course provides an overview of the main topics, trends, and approaches in the study of political communication. It explores a range of actors involved in political communication and focuses on key debates and concepts and applies them to current trends, debates, and evolving research in this area. The first section of the course provides an overview of the definitions and historical perspective with a range of main actors involved in political communication. The second section examines political communication in the changing media environment. The third section focuses on recent trends in the field, with a focus on phenomena such as the role of emotions in processing political information, personalization, populist political communication or polarization, and misinformation. The fourth and last section brings up a discussion of a number of specialization topics on recent research in political communication, such as populism and migration representation.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, a student will: Have a basic knowledge of the history and evolution of political communication and its main actors;
Be able to define core concepts and key theories in political communication;
Be able to apply these theories and concepts to different contexts and specific real-life examples;
Know and understand the most recent trends in political communication;
Be able to take a position on a political communication issue and write and present an argumentation substantiating their position based on academic literature.
  • Political communication - an introduction
  • 1. Definition of political communication, actors and new communication environment
  • 2. History of political communication - campaigns, media and political journalism, evolution of media effects and changes in news dissemination
  • 3. Media and political actors - How political actors use the media and the media as political actors
  • 4. Media and social movements - the role of media in political movements and democratization processes
  • Political communication in the 21st century
  • 5. Political communication in hybrid media systems - old and new media, hybridity, hybrid genres, hybrid media and hybrid media actors
  • 6. Political communication in high-choice media environment - news dissemination, supply of political information, quality of news, fragmentation and polarization, media (dis)trust and journalism, interest in politics
  • 7. Discussing politics - interpersonal communication, deliberation and public sphere, online discussions and social media, knowledge
  • Political communication in the era of popular culture and distrust
  • 8. Emotions in political communication - an overview
  • 9. Recent trends in political communication I - personalization, intimization, celebritization and humour in political communication, communicating protest
  • 10. Recent trends in political communication II - negative communication, populist political communication, depolitization, polarization, hate speech and cyberhate, disinformation and misinformation
  • Seminars on political communication
  • 11. Student presentations: Populism as a political communication style 12. Student presentations: How political elites and media cover migration
  • Street, J. 2012. Popular Culture and Political Communication. The Sage Handbook of Political Communication, pp. 75-84.
  • Strömback, J. 2017. News Seekers, News Avoiders, and the Mobilizing Effects of Election Campaigns: Comparing Election Campaigns for the National and the European Parliaments. International Journal of Communication, 11: 237-258 https://miun.diva-portal.or
  • Stromer-Galley. 2017. Political Discussion and Deliberation Online. The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, Oxford University Press, pp. 837-850.
  • Engesser, S. et al. 2017. Populist online communication: introduction to the special issue, Information, Communication & Society, 20:9, 1279-1292.
  • Jamieson, K. et al.. 2017. The Political Uses and Abuses of Civility and Incivility. The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, Oxford University Press, pp. 205-218.
  • Casteltrione, I. 2014. Facebook and Political Information in Italy and the UK: An Antidote against Political Fragmentation and Polarisation? Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 4:1
  • Coleman, S. 2005. „New Mediation and Direct Representation: Reconceptualizing Representation in the Digital Age.“ New Media & Society 7 (2): 177–198.
  • Simon Scheller (2019): The Strategic Use of Fear Appeals in Political Communication, Political Communication,
  • Sørensen, M. P. 2016. Political conversations on Facebook – the participation of politicians and citizens. Media, Culture & Society 38 (5): 664–685.
  • elli Carpini, Michael X. 2017. The Political Effects of Entertainment Media. The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, Oxford University Press, pp. 851-870.
  • Dahlberg, L. 2007. „The Internet, deliberative democracy, and power: Radicalizing the public sphere.“ International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 3 (1): 47–64.
  • Chadwick, A. 2007. Digital Network Repertoires and Organizational Hybridity. Political Communication 24 (3): 283-301.
  • Strömback, J., Van Aelst, P. 2013. Why political parties adapt to the media? Exploring the fourth dimension of mediatization. The International Communication Gazette 75(4): 341-358.
  • Enli, G. S., E. Skogerbø. 2013. „Personalized Campaigns in Party-Centred Politics: Twitter and Facebook as Arenas for Political Communication.“ Information, Communication & Society 16 (5): 757-774.
  • Tewksbury, D. - Rittenberg, J. 2012. News on the internet: information and citizenship in the 21st century. New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press. Pp. 3-17; 63-143.
  • Van Aelst et al. 2017. Political communication in a high-choice media environment: a challenge for democracy?, Annals of the International Communication Association, 41:1, 3-27.
  • Hyes, A. F., Matthes, J. 2017. Self-censorship, the Spiral of Silence, and Contemporary Political Communication. The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, Oxford University Press, pp. 763-776.
  • Winneg et al. 2017. Online News Consumption in the United States and Ideological Extremism. The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, Oxford University Press, pp. 809-822.
  • Blumler, J. G. 2017. The Shape of Political Communication. The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication, Oxford University Press, pp. 47-58.
  • Blumler, J. G.; Kavanagh, D.(1999): The Third Age of Political Communication: Influences and Features. In: Political Communication, 16(3), 209-230.
  • McNair, B. 2018. Introduction to Political Communication. London: Routledge, pp. 1-50.
  • Chris Wells, Dhavan V. Shah, Jon C. Pevehouse, JungHwan Yang, Ayellet Pelled, Frederick Boehm, Josephine Lukito, Shreenita Ghosh & Jessica L. Schmidt (2016). How Trump Drove Coverage to the Nomination: Hybrid Media Campaigning, Political Communication, 3
Teaching methods
lectures, reading, discussion
Assessment methods
Presentation 20% Exam 40% Essay 40%
Language of instruction
Further Comments
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.

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