A new article by myself and Claudius Wagemann is out in a special issue of Contemporary Italian Politics dedicated to Italy-Germany relationships. Based on content analysis of more than 500 newspaper articles, we look at how the press in Italy and Germany talked about the other country during both its own domestic elections and the other country’s election.
The article is titled “Outsiders looking in and insiders looking out a comparative study of newspaper coverage of Italian-German relationships in the 2013 elections”. Our main goal is to articulate and explore the concept of transnationalized election campaigns, and public discourse more generally, which we articulate as follows:
Here is the abstract of the article. Full text is available here.
We conceptualise transnational political communication as an emerging phenomenon in globally connected polities, whereby public discourse in a country increasingly focuses on politics, policies, and political actors in other countries. There are two dimensions to transnationalisation: ‘outside-in’, when political communication focuses on the domestic politics of foreign countries, and ‘inside-out’, when foreign countries play a role in a country’s domestic public discourse. We apply this conceptual distinction to a study of newspaper coverage of the 2013 German and Italian elections in both countries. Based on a content analysis of 428 articles across six newspapers, we find that Germany received more, and more positive, coverage in the Italian press than Italy did in the German press. While the German press tended to be neutral and to cover Italy only as part of Italy’s own electoral politics, the Italian press intensely covered Germany during both the German and Italian elections. Articles in the inside-out mode of transnationalisation were more likely to discuss the interdependencies between the two countries, but those articles could only be found in the less powerful Italy, whereas they were nearly absent in the more powerful Germany.