1st Edition

Political Communication and COVID-19 Governance and Rhetoric in Times of Crisis

    372 Pages
    by Routledge

    372 Pages
    by Routledge

    This edited collection compares and analyses the most prominent political communicative responses to the outbreak and global spread of the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus within 27 nations across five continents and two supranational organisations: the EU and the WHO. The book encompasses the various governments’ communication of the crisis, the role played by opposition and the vibrancy of the information environment within each nation.

    The chapters analyse the communication drawing on theoretical perspectives drawn from the fields of crisis communication, political communication and political psychology. In doing so the book develops a framework to assess the extent to which state communication followed the key indicators of effective communication encapsulated in the principles of: being first; being right; being credible; expressing empathy; promoting action; and showing respect. The book also examines how communication circulated within the mass and social media environments and what impact differences in spokespersons, messages and the broader context has on the success of implementing measures likely to reduce the spread of the virus. Cumulatively, the authors develop a global analysis of the responses and how these are shaped by their specific contexts and by the flow of information, while offering lessons for future political crisis communication.

    This book will be of great interest to students and researchers of politics, communication and public relations, specifically on courses and modules relating to current affairs, crisis communication and strategic communication, as well as practitioners working in the field of health crisis communication.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license. Thanks to the support of libraries working with Knowledge Unlatched www.knowledgeunlatched.org


    Darren Lilleker, Ioana A. Coman, Miloš Gregor and Edoardo Novelli

    Introduction: Political Communication, Governance and Rhetoric in Times of Crisis

    Ioana A. Coman, Dalia Elsheikh, Miloš Gregor, Darren Lilleker and Edoardo Novelli

    Case Studies

    1. World Health Organisation: The Challenges of Global Leadership

    Darren Lilleker and Miloš Gregor

    2. China: Diversion, Ingratiation and Victimization

    Menglin Liu and Shan Xu

    3. Japan: New Directions for Digital Japan

    Leslie Tkach-Kawasaki

    4. South Korea: No Shutdown, No Lockdown

    Jangyul Robert Kim and Sera Choi

    5. The United States: Politics Versus Science?

    John M. Callahan

    6. The EU: The Story of a Tragic Hero and the 27 Dwarfs

    Dennis Lichtenstein

    7. France: An Unpopular Government Facing an Unprecedented Crisis

    Pierre-Emmanuel Guigo

    8. Australia: A Triumph of Sorts

    Fiona Wade

    9. Germany: Between a Patchwork and Best-Practice

    Isabelle Borucki and Ulrike Klinger

    10. India: A Spectacle of Mismanagement

    Chindu Sreedharan

    11. Italy: The Frontrunner of the Western Countries in an Unexpected Crisis

    Edoardo Novelli

    12. Spain: Managing the Uncertain Whilst Facing Economic Collapse

    Sergio Pérez Castaños and Alberto Mora Rodríguez

    13. Sweden: Lone Hero or Stubborn Outlier?

    Bengt Johansson and Orla Vigsø

    14. The UK: From Consensus to Confusion

    Ruth Garland and Darren Lilleker

    15. Egypt: Emotional Speech and Complicated Reality

    Dalia Elsheikh

    16. Russia: A Glass Wall

    Svetlana S. Bodrunova

    17. Austria: A Ski Resort as the Virus Slingshot of Europe

    Katie Bates and Lore Hayek

    18. Iran: Disciplinary Strategies and Governmental Campaigning

    Azra Ghandeharion and Josef Kraus

    19. Brazil: More Than Just a Little Flu

    Ícaro Joathan, Andrea Medrado and Thainã Medeiros

    20. Norway: From Strict Measures to Pragmatic Flexibility

    Bente Kalsnes and Eli Skogerbø

    21. Iceland: No Lockdown and Experts at the Forefront

    Jón Gunnar Ólafsson

    22. Ireland: Solid Swansong from Caretaker Government

    Dawn Wheatley

    23. The Czech Republic: Self-proclaimed Role-Models

    Otto Eibl and Miloš Gregor

    24. Hungary: Illiberal Crisis Management

    Norbert Merkovity, Márton Bene and Xénia Farkas

    25. Poland: Protecting the Nation While Struggling to Maintain Power

    Michał Jacuński

    26. Ghana: Political Expediency or Competent Leadership?

    Sally Osei-Appiah

    27. South Africa: A United Front? A Divided Government

    Robert Mattes and Ian Glenn

    28. Kosovo: Political Crisis, One More Challenge Alongside COVID-19

    Dren Gërguri

    29. Turkey: Declaring of War on an Epidemic

    Elif Kahraman

    30. Conclusion: Political Communication and COVID-19: Governance and Rhetoric in Global Comparative Perspective

    Darren Lilleker, Ioana A. Coman, Miloš Gregor and Edoardo Novelli


    Darren Lilleker is Professor of Political Communication in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University, UK. He is Convenor of the Centre for Comparative Politics and Media Research and teaches across the politics programmes. He has led a range of research projects using qualitative and quantitative methods; and delivered lectures and workshops to students across the world.

    Ioana A. Coman is an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University, USA. She teaches courses focused on public relations, journalism, and entrepreneurship. Her research focuses on how different actors engage and interact in risk and crisis communication situations via different platforms, within different contexts, and at different levels. Her research has received national and international awards and grants including the Page/Johnson Legacy Scholar (2019 and 2020).

    Miloš Gregor is an Assistant Professor at Masaryk University, the Czech Republic. He teaches courses on political communication and marketing, propaganda, disinformation, and fake news. Together with Petra Mlejnková, he is a mentor of projects Choose Your Info (Zvol si info) and Fakescape, both dedicated to media literacy awareness. Both projects received awards in the international Peer to Peer: Global Digital Challenge competition.

    Edoardo Novelli is Associate Professor at the University of Roma Tre, Italy. He teaches Political Communication and Media Sociology. His research interests focus on political communication, history of propaganda, electoral campaigns, and on the relationship between politics, media, and images. He has been principal investigator of international research projects, including the European Election Monitoring Center, and he is Head of the digital Archive of Italian political commercials.

    "Though each case study can stand independently, the way they are put together in the book provides a narrative that easily explains how to apply the CERC framework and provides examples for public relations students on how to perform a case study. Furthermore, the true strength of this book is that each case study is authored by someone who represents the country which it is about. This serves to give a more authentic look at each case and also helps to make the book truly global… Ultimately, this book provides a strong jumping point for crisis and political communication researchers and students as they begin to dive into the continued crisis that is COVID-19."

    Kathryn Biddle, in the Journal of Communication Enquiry