Political Communication and COVID-19 : Governance and Rhetoric in Times of Crisis book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9780367636791
Published March 19, 2021 by Routledge
372 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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

View More



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