Category Archives: Political communication

Call for papers

A special issue of Journal of Public Affairs is in the making. Please see the call.

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The PR Silk Road is open

“Political Communication [hearts] Public Relations” is the title of my chapter in the  volume Public relations theories for contemporary China edited by C. Xianhong. The chapter presents and discusses political communication as the field has developed in the Western hemisphere. The potential of this scholarship to inform public relations is discussed alongside the notion “political public relations.” Arguably, there has also been many studies of public relations and power which could be subsumed under the political communication umbrella. Still, the main argument of the essay is that political communication contributes with a much needed understanding of the communicative dimensions of politics. Political communication and political theory offer important ontological insights about for instance conflicts of interests.

Ihlen, Ø. (2018). Political communication [hearts] public relations [translated from Chinese]. In C. Xianhong (Ed.), Public relations theories for contemporary China (pp. 358-370). Beijing, China: Public Relations Society of China. Preprint version

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Lobbying and Democracy

What is the role of communication in relation to lobbying and democracy? Will be putting together a postconference at the 2018 conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Prague. A CFP is issued with a deadline of December 15 for abstract submission. The best papers from the conference will appear in a special issue of Journal of Public Affairs. The postconference is sponsored by The Department of Marketing Communication and PR, Charles University in Prague; The Public Diplomacy Interest Group of ICA (main ICA sponsor); The Public Relations Division of ICA, The Political Communication Division of ICA; and The Network for Public affairs and Lobbying of the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA).

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Political Communication and Social Resilience

Migration, climate change, terrorism and widening social gaps are pressing global issues that are communicated through the news media, spread by social media and discussed in high-level summits as well as around dinner tables. Ultimately, they concern the legitimacy of democracy, the foundations of welfare states and the construction of cultural identities. Yet the links between communication, legitimacy and social resilience are often neglected. In a paper authored by Eli Skogerbø and myself we discuss how political communication is a purveyor of social resilience. We focus on the communicative conditions that impact on the sustainability of political systems. The paper has been accepted for the conference “Media and Politics in Times of Crises and Change,” @ the London School of Economics, December 12-13 2016.

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Off to Japan

Ketil Raknes from Kristiania University College and I have just had a paper accepted for a ICA preconference in Tokyo called Powers of Promotion: Apprehending the Social and Political Impacts of Promotional Culture. Ketil and I will talk about how “the common good” is framed in professional lobbying. Appeals to what is “best for society” are common in lobbying campaigns as non-elected political actors have to argue beyond their self-interest. Lobbying campaigns that use the news media are likely to put even more emphasis on the common good-argument.

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Everything you wondered about Norwegian political communication, and then some

I have committed an edited volume on Norwegian political communication together with a bunch of the best Norwegian academics and a couple of good colleagues from our neighbouring countries. The volume clocks in on 362 pages and the first section offers chapters discussing how political communication is treated in different academic fields (think political science, media studies, rhetoric). Then follows a section focusing on different actors and institutions (political parties, commentators, public relations agencies, etc.), and a section on channels, platforms and processes (election campaigns, speeches, social media, etc.). The book is rounded of with a conclusion chapter and three commentaries from key scholars in the field. 24 chapters in total. I have a hand on the wheel of the intrdocution adn conclusion, as well as the chapters on public relations and lobbying. Again: Brush up on your Norwegian skills!

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