Publications

Toril Aalberg, Frank Esser, Carsten Reinemann, Jesper Strömbäck, and Claes H. de Vreese (2016). Populist Political Communication in Europe. London: Routledge.

Populist Political Communication in Europe

Abstract: In light of ongoing social, political, and economic turmoil – and recent populist backlashes against incumbent governments – the study of populism has perhaps never been more important. Yet existing research on populism tends to neglect the key role of political communication. In light of this, the research in the new book Populist Political Communication in Europe is unique, covering work published in 24 countries. We show that on the side of populist actors we often find rhetoric that is emotional, includes blame attribution and scapegoats, uses straightforward and sometimes violent language, and presents simplistic solutions to problems. The essence of populist communication consists of references to the people, anti-elitism, and the exclusion of various out-groups. A special chapter is devoted to the role of the media. It identifies

  • characteristic patterns in how the media report on populist politicians,
  • favorable opportunity structures for the spread of populist rhetoric through the mass media
  • ambiguous consequences of media criticism for the spread of populism
  • examples showing the growing importance of new media in this regard

This chapter on the relationship between populism and the media is first-authored by Frank Esser and can be downloaded here (PDF, 390 KB).

Another chapter looks specifically at the conditions of populist political communication in Switzerland. It is co-authored by Nicole Ernst, Sven Engesser & Frank Esser an can be downloaded here (PDF, 288 KB).

Strömbäck, J., & Esser, F. (Eds.) (2015). Making Sense of Mediatized Politics. Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives. London: Routledge.

StrombackEsser

Abstract: While the theoretical perspective of mediatization has become increasingly popular in recent years, scholarly understanding of the mediatization process and its antecedents, consequences and contingencies are still hampered by unresolved questions and a lack of systematic empirical studies. This volume addresses this by bringing together contributions that analyze and investigate different facets of the mediatization of politics, making a significant contribution to our theoretical as well as empirical understanding of this process, and setting the agenda for further research. This book was originally published as two special issues, of Journalism Studies and Journalism Practice, guest-edited by Frank Esser and Jesper Strömbäck.

Büchel, F., Humprecht, E., Castro, L., Engesser, S. & Brüggemann, M. (2016). Building empirical typologies with QCA. International Journal of Press/Politics, 21(2), 209–232.

 JoC  JoC

Abstract: The analysis of media systems has become a cornerstone in the field of comparative communication research. Ten years after its publication, we revisit the landmark study in the field, Hallin and Mancini’s “Comparing Media Systems”, and operationalize its framework for standardized measurement. The study at hand is, to the best of our knowledge, the first to comprehensively validate the original dimensions and models using aggregated data from the same sample ofWestern countries.Three out of four dimensions of media systems show relatively high levels of internal consistency, but “role of the state” should be disaggregated into 3 subdimensions. A cluster analysis reveals 4 empirical types of media systems that differentiate and extend the original typology.

Esser, F., & Strömbäck, J. (2014). Mediatization of Politics. Understanding the Transformation of Western Democracies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

MoP

Abstract: This book provides a comprehensive overview over the models of contemporary democracy, its social, cultural, economic and political prerequisites, empirically existing varieties, and the two major challenges – globalization and mediatization – confronting established democracies today. As the boundaries of the national political communities increasingly dissolve, democracy as we know it is put into question. Similarly, as the role of the media in politics increases, the way established democracies function is being transformed. Two chapters by Frank Esser discuss the tension between media logic and political, and offer a conceptualization of the mediatization concept. They further offer a an overview of recent Research in Zurich on mediatization effects on political news, political actors, political decisions and political audiences.

Kriesi, H., Lavanex, S., Esser, F. Matthes, J., Bühlmann, M., & Bochsler, D. (2013). Democracy in the Age of Globalization and Mediatization. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

NCCRCover

Abstract: This book provides a comprehensive overview over the models of contemporary democracy, its social, cultural, economic and political prerequisites, empirically existing varieties, and the two major challenges – globalization and mediatization – confronting established democracies today. As the boundaries of the national political communities increasingly dissolve, democracy as we know it is put into question. Similarly, as the role of the media in politics increases, the way established democracies function is being transformed. Two chapters by Frank Esser discuss the tension between media logic and political, and offer a conceptualization of the mediatization concept. They further offer a an overview of recent Research in Zurich on mediatization effects on political news, political actors, political decisions and political audiences.

Esser, F. & Hanitzsch, T. (Eds.) (2012). Handbook of Comparative Communication Research (ICA Handbook Series). London: Routledge.

EsserHanitzsch

Abstract: The Handbook of Comparative Communication Research aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of comparative communication research. It fills an obvious gap in the literature and offers an extensive and interdisciplinary discussion of the general approach of comparative research, its prospect and problems as well as its applications in crucial sub-fields of communications. The first part of the volume charts the state of the art in the field; the second section introduces relevant areas of communication studies where the comparative approach has been successfully applied in recent years; the third part offers an analytical review of conceptual and methodological issues; and the last section proposes a roadmap for future research.