Personalization of Politics between Television and the Internet Leader Effects in the 2013 Italian Parliamentary Election
Prepared for Delivery at the Annual Convention of the Swiss Political Science Association, University of St. Gallen, 11-12 January 2017
31 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2017
Date Written: January 11, 2017
Previous research has proven reluctant in systematically addressing the role played by television exposure as a driver of personalization in voting behaviour. Similarly, the relationship between the rise of Internet-based political communication and the personalization trend has been under-investigated so far. This paper addresses these empirical questions through an analysis of Italy –– an ideal case for the study of the personalization of politics and its relationship with political communication. The results, showing the dominance of leader effects among voters strongly exposed to television and a somewhat differentiated impact on Internauts, are tested for their robustness across a wide range of alternative operationalizations of dependent and independent variables. By looking at leader effects across different audiences, this paper elaborates on the missing link between electoral research and political communication, and it eventually speaks to the broader question of how important is media for the outcome of contemporary democratic elections.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation