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Intimate Politics: Publicity, Privacy and the Personal Lives of Politicians in Media Saturated Democracies

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4476-9
248 pages
November 2012, Polity
Intimate Politics: Publicity, Privacy and the Personal Lives of Politicians in Media Saturated Democracies (0745644767) cover image
It is often remarked that politicians’ private lives are becoming a feature of political communication in many advanced industrial democracies. However, there have so far been no genuinely comparative studies examining the personalized nature of political communication. Intimate Politics provides for the first time a systematic comparative analysis of such developments in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US. Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, it assesses the extent to which the private lives of politicians have become a feature of political communication in each democracy. The book provides a comprehensive account of the shifting boundaries between the public and private, and whether any developments are universal or more advanced in some democracies than others, and seeks to explain why this might be. Intimate Politics will be of great value for students and scholars of communication and media studies and political science and is required reading for anyone who wants a fuller understanding of the transformation of mediated politics in advanced industrial democracies.
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Contents
List of figures and tables
Acknowledgements
Introduction: Politicians’ Personal Lives in the Media Spotlight
1. Soft Focus: Leaders’ Personal Lives Close-up
2. Digging for Dirt: Publicizing Politicians’ Sex Lives
3. Changing Exposure: Critical Moments and the
Uncovering of Politicians’ Infidelity
4. Transnational Revelations: Flows, Access and Control in a Global News Environment
5. Drawing Conclusions: Intimization and Democratic Politics
Appendix: Notes on Research Methods and Indicators
References
Endnotes
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James Stanyer is senior lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at Loughborough University.
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  • An innovative study that examines the personalised nature of political communication.
  • A comprehensive account of the shifting boundaries between the public and private.
  • International in scope, the book draws on a wide range of primary and secondary sources.
  • This book will be invaluable for students of political communication, politics and the media, and related modules.
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'An extremely useful book for those who are interested in the world beyond the level of bar-room gossip.'
Morning Star

'Stanyer has delivered a highly persuasive evidence-based study, creatively developed and carried out, drawing on a range of data sets inventively designed to compare how far the private lives of politicians are reported in seven countries. In my view, Intimate Politics has genuine international relevance and should be considered the benchmark study for future scholarship.'
Journalism Studies

'Stanyer's treatment of the phenomenon of “intimization” is data-rich, conceptually mature and several-sided. He systematically examines it by genre, over an extended time span and, in a revealing comparative analysis, across seven advanced democracies. Intimate Politics is likely to be the definitive treatment of its subject for years to come.'
Jay Blumler, University of Leeds

'For the first time, intimization and popularization are dealt with using hard data, showing that they are not just in the minds of scholars but that they represent tendencies that have emerged in several countries worldwide. Our democracies are facing at the same time new strategies on the part of politicians and also already well-rooted journalistic routines.'
Paolo Mancini, Università di Perugia

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