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
Part 1: Electoral Debates in the Americas
Introduction to Electoral Debates in the Americas
2. A New Experiment for an Old Media Political Event: Leaders’ Debates in Canada
3. From JFK to Trump: The Evolution of U.S. Presidential Debates
4. Did Video Kill the Rally Star? The Contribution of Presidential Debates to Democratic change in Mexico
5. Electoral Debates Organized by the Electoral Management Body: Costa Rica 2018
6. Presidential Debates in Colombia. From Rarity to Routine
7. Electoral debates in Peru 2001 – 2016
Javier Portocarrero & Luciana Grillo
8. Chile: Presidential Debates, From Dictatorship To Democracy
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
11. Planets Seldom Align – A Hit And The Misses Of United Kingdom TV Election Debates
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
15. Road to the Stadium: Televised Election Debates and "Non-Debates" in Ukraine. Between Spectacle and Democratic Instrument
16. Televised Debates in Croatia: Lost in Regulation
17. Televised Election Debates in The Netherlands: Indirect Effects on Party Preferences through Media Coverage
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?
Part 3: Select Cases of Electoral Debates across Different Regions
Introduction to Select Cases of Electoral Debates across Different Regions
20. Presidential Debates in Iran
21. Transformation of the Electoral Debate in Japan: Its Content and Context
22. Televised Election Debates in Multi-party Taiwan
23. Electoral Debates in South Korea: From TV Debates to YouTube debates
Hun Shik Kim
24. The 2016 Pilipinas Debates
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
28. Do Debates Matter? The Past, Present and Future of Nigerian Electoral Debates
Oluwateniola Oluwabukola Kupolati
'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