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This book makes an important contribution to the study of political communication. Its chapters analyse forms of media talk associated with contemporary political elections. Key topics include: changing forms of political interview, televised political debates, and the use of multimedia in promotional discourse.
The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government is an historic undertaking. It contains a wide range of essays that define the important questions in the field, evaluate where we are in answering them, and set the direction and terms of discourse for future work. The Handbook will have a substantial influence in defining the field for years to come. The chapters critically assess both the key works of state and local politics literature and the ways in which the sub-field has developed. It covers the main areas of study in subnational politics by exploring the central contributions to the comparative study of institutions, behavior, and policy in the American context. Each chapter outlines an agenda for future research.
George Bush’s 1988 campaign pledge, "Read my lips: no new taxes," has become a mantra for those who distrust politicians and bureaucrats. The gulf between what political leaders say and do seems to be widening, and in democratic societies around the world, contributing to an atmosphere of cynicism and apathy among the citizenry. Understanding the characteristics and functions of speech in policy processes is a requirement for trying to overcome this problem; indeed, politicians and bureaucrats spend a good proportion of their time and resources discoursing, i.e., writing, speaking, and publishing. However, there has been scant analysis of political discourse; the aim of this book is to fill this analytical gap, by exploring political speech from a variety of perspectives, including normative, epistemological, and empirical. Incorporating insights from economics, political science, philosophy, and law, and evidence from the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Turkey, and the EU, the book addresses a wide variety of timely issues, including:. Fiscal discipline in speeches vs budget balance: Is an improvement (deterioration) of the budget balance preceded by a more (less) fiscally disciplined discourse? Revenues and spending forecasted in budget speeches vs realised budget outcomes: Is there a systematic bias? If so, how can we explain it? Electoral pledges vs actual realisations: Do governments follow up on their electoral pledges? Ideological stance in party publications vs spending and revenues of party governments: Do parties of the right and the left speak different languages? How can we validly classify a government as of the left or of the right? Is there a systematic difference between governments of the right and of the left in terms of their policy? Speeches by central bank officers vs monetary policy: Can changes in monetary policy be predicted by official speeches? The political business cycle: How can taking into consideration the speech-action relationship strengthen (or threaten) our knowledge about electoral and partisan cycles in public spending? Other questions explored include: Should policy makers always tell the truth and all the truth? What are the benefits and the costs of transparency? How can we resolve the apparent contradiction between the democratic demand for transparency and the efficiency requirement of secrecy in many policy areas (budget preparation, monetary policy, foreign policy, security, etc.)? Under which conditions is secrecy acceptable in a democratic society? To what extent may deception and lies lead to a breach of trust or to power abuse? What are the most efficient institutional mechanisms to prevent such abuse? Collectively, the authors present new insights for understanding political process and government activity, and suggest avenues for further research.
Political leadership has made a comeback. It was studied intensively not only by political scientists but also by political sociologists and psychologists, Sovietologists, political anthropologists, and by scholars in comparative and development studies from the 1940s to the 1970s. Thereafter, the field lost its way with the rise of structuralism, neo-institutionalism, and rational choice approaches to the study of politics, government, and governance. Recently, however, students of politics have returned to studying the role of individual leaders and the exercise of leadership to explain political outcomes. The list of topics is nigh endless: elections, conflict management, public policy, government popularity, development, governance networks, and regional integration. In the media age, leaders are presented and stage-managed—spun—as the solution to almost every social problem. Through the mass media and the Internet, citizens and professional observers follow the rise, impact, and fall of senior political officeholders at closer quarters than ever before. This Handbook encapsulates the resurgence by asking, where are we today? It orders the multidisciplinary field by identifying the distinct and distinctive contributions of the disciplines. It meets the urgent need to take stock. It brings together scholars from around the world, encouraging a comparative perspective, to provide a comprehensive coverage of all the major disciplines, methods, and regions. It showcases both the normative and empirical traditions in political leadership studies, and juxtaposes behavioural, institutional, and interpretive approaches. It covers formal, office-based as well as informal, emergent political leadership, and in both democratic and undemocratic polities.
In this landmark work, the culmination of 30 years of systematic, comprehensive comparison of 19 rich democracies, Wilensky answers two basic questions: (1) What is distinctly modern about modern societies--in what ways are they becoming alike? (2) How do variations in types of political economy shape system performance? He specifies similarities and differences in the structure and interplay of government, political parties, the mass media, industry, labor, professions, agriculture, churches, and voluntary associations. He then demonstrates how differences in bargaining arrangements among these groups lead to contrasting policy profiles and patterns of taxing and spending, which in turn explain a large number of outcomes: economic performance, political legitimacy, equality, job security, safety and risk, real health, the reduction of poverty and environmental threats, and the effectiveness and fairness of regulatory regimes. Drawing on quantitative data and case studies covering the last 50 years and more than 400 interviews he conducted with top decision-makers and advisors, Wilensky provides a richly detailed account of the common social, economic, and labor problems modern governments confront and their contrasting styles of conflict resolution. The result is new light on the likely paths of development of rich democracies as they become richer. Assessing alternative theories, Wilensky offers a powerful critique of such images of modern society as "post-industrial" or "high-tech," "the information age" or the alleged dominance of "globalization." Because he systematically compares all of the rich democracies with at least three million population, Wilensky can specify what is truly exceptional about the United States, what it shares with Britain and Britain abroad (Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and what it shares with all or almost all of the West European democracies, Israel, and Japan. He gives careful attention to which successful social and labor policies are transferable across nations and which are not. Rich Democracies will interest both scholars and practitioners. It combines the perspectives of political economy (the interplay of markets and politics) and political sociology (the social bases of politics). It will be especially useful in courses on comparative political economy, comparative politics, European politics, public policy, political sociology, the welfare state, American government, advanced industrial societies, and industrial relations.
Messengers of the Right tells the story of the media activists who built the American conservative movement and transformed it into one of the most significant and successful movements of the twentieth century—and in the process remade the Republican Party and the American media landscape.
Written by a team of leading experts of American politics, this text provides an authoritative and informed analysis of the latest issues, trends and developments. Fully up-to-date, the book takes full account of the political landscape that followed the 2012 elections and the policy dilemmas which face Obama's second administration.