Informations and abstract
The field of political communication is one of the most investigated by academic research and an object of keen attention by both politicians and mass media. To draw clear cut borders of its epistemological domain, however, is almost impossible for it covers a plurality of phenomena which are themselves objects of scientific scrutiny by different disciplines. The phenomenon as we know it nowadays is closely intertwined with the mass media which have progressively changed the traditional patterns of political relations and actions in modern democracies. Such a trend has been captured by the term "mediated politics". "Per se", however, political communication is not only a contemporary phenomenon nor a wholly mediated activity: its existence goes back to ancient Greece and to Roman pre-empire times, and it displays several significant interpersonal and/or social dimensions. The modern concept of political communication has its theoretical underpins in J. Habermas' reflections on the bourgeois public sphere but also in H. Lasswell's seminal works on political language and M. Edelman's insights on political symbolism. One of the most cherished (by research) territories of political communication is electoral communication. The reason of such concern lays in the fact that campaigns are key and highly dramatic events for democratic arenas: they are the modern rituals by which politics legitimises itself, the politicians compete for popular support, the media try to lead the game and the citizens play either the spectators' or the king-makers' roles.