Routledge International Handbook on Electoral Debates: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge International Handbook on Electoral Debates

1st Edition

Edited by Julio Juárez-Gámiz, Dr Christina Holtz-Bacha, Alan Schroeder


320 pages

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Hardback: 9780367355036
pub: 2020-05-25
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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.


"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

Table of Contents

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 & Belén Amadeo

10. Televised Presidential Debates in Brazil

Mauro Porto & 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 & 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 & 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

Saranaz Barforoush

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 & Maria Armoudian

26. Leaders Debates in Australian Elections

Stephen Mills & 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

About the Editors

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. 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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Elections
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies