The professionalization of campaigns in recent democracies: The Portuguese case

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The fact that political campaigns in contemporary western democracies are fully professionalized seems to be unchallenged. Yet, the empirical evidence concerns few advanced democracies and mainly the main governing parties. We know little about the characteristics of political campaigns in recent democracies, as well as their main features in terms of political communication. This article aims to tackle these issues by examining the Portuguese case, a recent democracy characterized by relatively weak parties, television-centred communication and low levels of partisanship. In order to explore the features of political campaigns, this article draws on original data from both party elite interviews and a candidate survey for the 2009 legislative elections. The results show a relatively low degree of professionalization, especially in terms of marketing outlook. Overall, the findings provide support for hybrid models of campaign communication and suggest that political and institutional factors have important effects for party organization and communication tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-276
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal Of Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Electoral campaigns
  • political marketing
  • political parties
  • Portugal
  • professionalization


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