Strategies of Political Communication and the Cultural Change

GT 4.4 La construcción mediática de la crisis económica y política en España

Maria Fernanda Gonçalves Fernandes (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Robert N. Stinerock
Sesión 1
Día: jueves,19 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 09:00 a 11:30
Lugar: E11SEM04

In the aftermath of the United States financial crisis of 2007, European Union countries were affected by bailouts and the resulting debt crisis and the EURO crisis. In the Portuguese case, cyclical problems such as unemployment and uncompetitive economy brought to light important structural shortcomings.  The actions that were taken immediately were not consensual among the political spectrum and civil society. The opinions differ according to whether the political party is holding power or is in the opposition. Nevertheless, structural deficiencies will demand further, long-term actions regarding institutional reforms, which in turn require a change in attitudes. This article looks at the strategies of communication that the Portuguese institutions and political parties used to deal with the economic crisis. We look at how they conveyed their view on and evaluation of the current crisis. Behavior is shaped by cultural values specific to the country. These values can be obstacles to agents of change or facilitate change. This article also explores whether the political parties considered cultural dispositions as part of the problem which besets southern European countries. Using content analysis, we examine official views and addresses of the four main political parties in the national Parliament. This will give us a better understanding of the logic underlying the differences or similarities in their strategies of communication regarding the solutions each one presented. We might be able to see the pattern of the strategies of communication they have adopted and their possible success or failure. While there have been studies (Pisani-Ferry, 2013; Hamilton et al., 2013) that have looked at the current crisis from the economic standpoint, there seems to be no attention given to cultural factors. We hope that the cultural dimension provide a better understanding of the strategies of political communication used in times of great uncertainty.

Palabras clave: political communication, political parties, economic crisis, cultural change