1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook on Electoral Debates

    332 Pages
    by Routledge

    330 Pages
    by Routledge

    This Handbook is the first major work to comprehensively map state-of-the-art scholarship on electoral debates in comparative perspective. Leading scholars and practitioners from around the world introduce a core theoretical and conceptual framework to understand this phenomenon and point to promising directions for new research on the evolution of electoral debates and the practical considerations that different country-level experiences can offer.

    Three indicators to help analyze electoral debates inform this Handbook: the level of experience of each country in the realization of electoral debates; geopolitical characteristics linked to political influence; and democratic stability and electoral competitiveness. Chapters with examples from the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Oceania add richness to the volume. Each chapter:

    • Traces local historical, constitutive relationships between traditional forms of electoral debates and contexts of their emergence;

    • Compares and critiques different perspectives regarding the function of debates on democracy;

    • Probes, discusses and evaluates recent and emergent theoretical resources related to campaign debates in light of a particular local experience;

    • Explores and assesses new or neglected local approaches to electoral debates in a changing media landscape where television is no longer the dominant form of political communication;

    • Provides a prospective analysis regarding the future challengers for electoral debates.

    The Routledge International Handbook on Electoral Debates will set the agenda for scholarship on the political communication for years to come.

    Introduction: Image, Deliberation and Symbolic Power: Why do Electoral Debates Matter?

    Julio Juárez-Gámiz, Christina Holtz-Bacha and Alan Schroeder

    1. Introduction: Televised Election Debates as Spectacle and Reflection

    Stephen Coleman

    Part 1: Electoral Debates in the Americas

    Introduction to Electoral Debates in the Americas

    Alan Schroeder

    2. A New Experiment for an Old Media Political Event: Leaders’ Debates in Canada

    André Turcotte

    3. From JFK to Trump: The Evolution of U.S. Presidential Debates

    Alan Schroeder

    4. Did Video Kill the Rally Star? The Contribution of Presidential Debates to Democratic change in Mexico

    Julio Juárez-Gámiz

    5. Electoral Debates Organized by the Electoral Management Body: Costa Rica 2018

    Hugo Picado

    6. Presidential Debates in Colombia. From Rarity to Routine

    Miguel García-Sánchez

    7. Electoral debates in Peru 2001 – 2016

    Javier Portocarrero & Luciana Grillo

    8. Chile: Presidential Debates, From Dictatorship To Democracy

    Marcelo Hilsenrad

    9. Presidential Debates in Argentina

    Martín D’Alessandro and Belén Amadeo

    10. Televised Presidential Debates in Brazil

    Mauro Porto and Fábio Vasconcellos

    Part 2: Europe

    Introduction to Europe

    Christina Holtz-Bacha

    11. Planets Seldom Align – A Hit And The Misses Of United Kingdom TV Election Debates

    Ric Bailey

    12. Austria: On the Road to Peak TV Debate?

    Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Ahrabhi Kathirgamalingam and Hajo G. Boomgaarden

    13. Swedish Election Debates: A Long Tradition Adapting to New Times

    Nicklas Håkansson & Bengt Johansson

    14. From the Heavyweights' Debate to the Duel: The Development of TV Debates in Germany

    Christina Holtz-Bacha

    15. Road to the Stadium: Televised Election Debates and "Non-Debates" in Ukraine. Between Spectacle and Democratic Instrument

    Roman Horbyk

    16. Televised Debates in Croatia: Lost in Regulation

    Marijana Grbeša

    17. Televised Election Debates in The Netherlands: Indirect Effects on Party Preferences through Media Coverage

    Jan Kleinnijenhuis

    18. Electoral Debates in Spain: From TV to Social Networks

    José Rúas-Araújo, Iván Puentes-Rivera and Julia Fontenla-Pedreira

    19. French Television Debates: Just Audience or True Influence?

    Philippe Maarek

    Part 3: Select Cases of Electoral Debates across Different Regions

    Introduction to Select Cases of Electoral Debates across Different Regions

    Julio Juárez-Gámiz

    20. Presidential Debates in Iran

    Soraya Dabir

    21. Transformation of the Electoral Debate in Japan: Its Content and Context

    Fumie Mitani

    22. Televised Election Debates in Multi-party Taiwan

    Dafydd Fell

    23. Electoral Debates in South Korea: From TV Debates to YouTube debates

    Hun Shik Kim

    24. The 2016 Pilipinas Debates

    James Jimenez

    25. New Zealand Election Debates – Combat and Commercialism

    Mark Boyd and Maria Armoudian

    26. Leaders Debates in Australian Elections

    Stephen Mills and Rodney Smith

    27. Political Showmanship: A Critical Analysis of Electoral Debates in Kenya

    George Nyabuga

    28. Do Debates Matter? The Past, Present and Future of Nigerian Electoral Debates

    Oluwateniola Oluwabukola Kupolati


    Julio Juárez-Gámiz is an associate researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He has lectured on topics ranging from political communication, electoral law, journalism, discourse analysis, media and mass communication theories at different Mexican and English Universities. Julio has coordinated different national and multicultural studies on campaigns and elections, media coverage and political communications funded by the National Electoral Institute, IBOPE/AGB (now Nielsen-Ibope), the United Nations Development Program and the Mexican Secretary of State. He served as advisor to the President of the National Electoral Institute from 2015 to 2018.

    Christina Holtz-Bacha is Professor of Communications at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Past Chair of the International Communication's Associations (ICA) Political Communication Division. Professor Holtz-Bacha has held positions at the University of Mainz, University of Munich, the University of Bochum, the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, and was a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center/John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1999. Her research and instruction focus on political communication and strategic communication as well as German and European media policy.

    Alan Schroeder is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University and has worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat. Schroeder has written about a variety of media-related topics for such outlets as Politico, the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His work in media and politics extends internationally. He has lectured about the global phenomenon of televised debates in Spain, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Colombia. He has also trained television reporters and producers in the South Pacific and addressed journalists from China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and various countries in Latin America.

    'Those planning to produce or research political debates will welcome a comprehensive update outlining the happenings in the International Debate arena. This volume offers practical insights for those engaging political debates as part of applied Democracy.'

    Allan Louden, Department Chair and Professor of Communications, Wake Forest University

    'The Handbook illustrates the exponential growth of political debates worldwide over the past twenty years. Regardless of world region, political structure, or cultural differences, there are universal rules, impacts, and challenges. There are also significant differences influenced by a variety of factors. The Handbook fills a major void in the literature for anyone teaching or studying political debates and for anyone advising debate sponsors.'

    Diana B. Carlin, Professor Emerita, Saint Louis University

    'As this remarkably fine Handbook documents, candidate debates are now central to election campaigns in most democracies world-wide. Their organisation and conduct are influenced by underlying political systems and cultures but have evolved over time due largely to the fragmentation of party systems and multiplication of news channels. Head-to-head two-person duels have consequently often been supplemented or replaced by multi-party programmes. Many differences emerge in the book’s 28 national chapters; how regulated (if at all), the offices requiring debates, whether mandatory or not, participation eligibility, number and sequencing of debates, debate formats, moderators (who and in what roles), and any audience involvement. Certain near-universal features, despite these differences, are particularly important. Leader debates typically attract very large audiences, including many normally only marginally attentive voters. Sometimes viewers have expressed disappointment after the contests, complaining that debaters’ comments had been overly scripted, cautious or repetitive. Nevertheless, significant effects on knowledge gain about issues and policies have been found from research when conducted - and more so among initially less politically involved voters. As the editors rightly conclude, when this is done fairly, debates can focus voters’ attention on a combination of public policy, issues and personality traits.'

    Jay Blumler, Emeritus Professor of Public Communication, Leeds University