Social Media and the New Politics of Political Leadership examines how political leaders have adapted to the challenges of social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Memes among other means of persuasion. Established political leaders now use social media to grab headlines, respond to opponents, fund raise, contact voters directly and organize their election campaigns. Leaders of protest movements have used social media to organize and galvanize grassroots support and to popularize new narratives: narratives that challenge and sometimes overturn conventional thinking. Yet each social media platform provides different affordances, different attributes, and are used differently by political leaders.
In this book, leading international experts provide an unprecedented look at the role of social media in leadership today. Through a series of case studies dealing with topics ranging from Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump's use of Twitter, to Justin Trudeau's use of selfies and Instagram, to how feminist leaders mobilize against stereotypes and injustices, the authors argue that many leaders have found additional avenues to communicate with the public and use power. This raises the question of whether this is causing a power shift in the relationship between leaders and followers. Together the chapters in this book suggest new rules of engagement that leaders ignore at their peril.
The lack of systematic theoretically informed and empirically supported analyses makes Social Media and the New Politics of Political Leadership an indispensable read to students and scholars wishing to gain new understanding on what social media means for leadership.
"Taras and Davis have put together a collection of scholars that represents a who’s who of researchers focused on the now ubiquitous role of social media in modern politics. The result is, as expected, successful. The essays in this volume provide a unique look into social media and political leadership. Has there been a foundational shift in the underpinnings guiding leadership, or does the song remain the same? Addressing multiple related topics, this collection grapples with that fundamental question." — Jason Gainous, Professor, co-author of Tweeting to Power
"More scholarship has been available about uses of social media by political publics than by political leaders. That makes this volume a welcome addition. It presents a range of useful analyses national leadership in the US, Canada, Europe, and South Africa. It should be useful to scholars interested in a more complete picture of social media in politics as well as those interested in important comparative questions." — Bruce Bimber, Professor, Center for Information Technology & Society, and Department of Political Science, University of California - Santa Barbara.
"Taras and Davis have assembled some of the top scholars in the area of digital politics and leadership. This is a book provides an important foundation for anyone who wants to understand how modern leadership has changed in the Internet Age." — Kevin Wagner, Professor of Political Science, Florida Atlantic University
"This book offers a timely and refreshingly diverse array of perspectives on social media and political elites. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in understanding leadership and strategic political communication and in today’s media environment." — Johanna Dunaway, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University
Political Leadership and Social Media: An Introduction
Part 1: Leaders and the New Instruments of Media Persuasion
2. The President Tweets the Press: President-Press Relations and the Politics of Media Degradation
Joshua M. Scacco and Eric C. Wiemer
3. Vulgar Eloquence in the Digital Age: A Case Study of Candidate Donald Trump’s Use of Twitter
4. "Delete Your Account"? Hillary Rodham Clinton Across Social Media Platforms in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Shannon C. McGregor and Regina C. Lawrence
5. The Visually Viral Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau, Selfies, and Instagram
Chasten Remillard, Lindsey M. Bertrand, and Alina Fisher
6. Tweeting the Agenda: Policy Making and Agenda Setting by U.S. Congressional Leaders in the Age of Social Media
Jacob R. Strauss and Raymond T. Williams
Part 2: Twitter, Leaders, and Populism
7. Populism and Social Media Popularity: How Populist Communication Benefits Political Leaders on Facebook and Twitter
Sina Blassnig, Nicole Ernst, Sven Engesser and Frank Esser
8. A Marriage of Twitter and Populism in the French Presidential Campaign? The Twitter-Discourse of Challengers Macron and Le Pen
9. Political Communication Patterns and Sentiments Across Time
Part 3: Social Media and Grassroots Politics
10. ‘Twitter Was Like Magic!’: Strategic use of social media in contemporary feminist activism
11. #Unsettling Canada 150, One Tweet at a Time: How Indigenous Leaders use Twitter to Resist and Reframe Mainstream News in Canada
12. Fanning Flames of Discontent: A Case Study of Social Media, Populism, and Campaigning
13. Not A Leader! Theresa May’s Leadership Through the Lens of Internet Memes
Tamara Small and Mireille Lalancette
14. Twitter and Student Leadership in South Africa: The Case of #FeesMustFall
Tanja Bosch, Thierry M. Luescher, and Nkululeko Makhubu