Much of the research on televised debates focus on the US, but there is also a distinctive type of debates in parliamentary democracies. A new article by Nick Anstead of London School of Economics and Political Science examines this topic.
The author compares debates in Australia, Canada, West Germany / Germany and the United Kingdom from the 1960s to 2015. Theoretically, the article aims to advance theoretical understanding of political campaign communication using a concept of speciation.
Empirical findings show that especially three factors have affected the debates historically: country-specific events and trends, changes in party systems across all the case study countries, and the logic of parliamentary systems as distinct from presidential systems. In parliamentary democracies, debates are generally more open to smaller parties based on their success at winning seats in the legislature.
The article “A Different Beast? Televised Election Debates in Parliamentary Democracies” was recently published in International Journal of Press/Politics and is available online (free abstract).
Picture: Slutdebatt i SVT by De Rödgröna, license CC BY 2.0