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Transnationalized Election Campaigns: A Content Analysis of the German and Italian National Elections 2013

Mon, May 29, 11:00 to 12:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo 206


Political discourse in democratic and non-democratic regimes increasingly involves discussion of foreign countries, governments, and politicians as part of both domestic and foreign election news. We present an exploratory study of this phenomenon, which we conceptualize as transnationalized election campaigns, based on content analysis of newspaper articles published during the 2013 general elections in Germany and Italy. We find that transnational news coverage follows asymmetrical patterns between the two countries. Whereas the Italian press both covered the German campaign and discussed German politics during the Italian campaign, the German press covered the Italian campaign but did not mention Italian politics while covering the German campaign. These findings suggest that power relationships affect how national media cover foreign countries as part of both their domestic and foreign news. The fact that transnational coverage is widespread but asymmetrical has important implications for the public’s ability to understand the interdependencies between countries.