The (de)personalisation of mediated political communication in communist and post-communist societies: The case of Croatia

Simunjak, Maja (2014) The (de)personalisation of mediated political communication in communist and post-communist societies: The case of Croatia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the personalisation of mediated political communication and contributes to the personalisation scholarship by adding to it a non-Western
perspective. Specifically, that from the communist and post-communist societies, by using Croatia, the latest member of the European Union, and its communist predecessor Yugoslavia, as a case study. The thesis starts from the premise that the political communication is more personalized, i.e. focused on individual political actors and their personae, in communist and post-communist societies, than in Western ones with which personalisation scholarship dominantly deals with. It is also hypothesized that it may have graver consequences than in the West. For
example, it may weaken political institutions, sustain authoritarianism, lead to manipulation and deceit of public etc. Accordingly, main research question asked in this thesis is: What are the similarities and differences in the ways in which the personalisation of mediated political communication develops over time in a communist non-democratic system, a post-communist new democracy, and an established Western democracy? The question is answered through a longitudinal content analysis of Yugoslav/Croatian daily newspapers and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis. The empirical analyses revealed that the personalized political communication indeed develops in a different way, and is connected to
different conditions, in the transitional society, than is the case in established Western democracies. The most important finding of this study is that the mediated
political communication was, unlike in Western democracies, de-personalized over time. The theoretical discussion of the possible causes and effects of
personalisation in communist and post-communist societies contributes to the development of personalisation theory, and the empirical study provides original evidence of how and why mediated political communication was personalized in non-Western contexts. Furthermore, two new theories are formed that may help explain the personalisation trends in transitional societies. These are continuation theory and democratization theory.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: Brian Watkins
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2014 16:41
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2014 16:41
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/51482
DOI:

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