Project

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Offensive Discourse in Political Arenas: Forms, Causes, and Effects of Negativism in Politics

English title Offensive Discourse in Political Arenas: Forms, Causes, and Effects of Negativism in Politics
Applicant Giugni Marco
Number 137695
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution RESOP Faculté des Siences économiques et sociales Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.05.2012 - 31.10.2015
Approved amount 214'112.55
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Political science
Sociology

Keywords (4)

negativism; deliberation; political campaigning; political organizations

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

The research project deals with offensive discourse, or negativism, during debates on political issues in Switzerland. Offensive discourse refers to the presence of direct and explicit attacks toward political adversaries (concurrent candidates or debate adversaries). The presence of such attacks in the political system, and especially in political campaigning, has extensively been analyzed in the last decades. However, to our knowledge, no cross-sectional research has been proposed in order to compare the presence of attacks in different political arenas. Furthermore, almost nothing exists on the Swiss case. The project aims to fill this gap. More specifically, we will attempt to shed lights on the forms, causes and consequences of offensive discourse in three political arenas: the parliamentary arena (through the analysis of parliamentary debates), the electoral arena (through the analysis of public debates in the context of direct democratic votes and electoral ballots), and the party organizational arena (through the analysis of debates in parties and ad-hoc referendum committees). Through original data collection and partial reanalysis of previously collected data, we will provide empirical answers to three main questions on the presence of offensive discourse: What are its forms? What are its causes? What are its effects? In order to answer these questions, the research project has six main components (workpackages): WP1 (Meta-analysis) aims to provide theoretical foundations on the presence of negativism in the political system; WP2 (Parliamentary debates) aims to provide insights on offensive discourses during Swiss lower chamber parliamentary debates; WP3 (Direct democracy) aims to shed lights on the forms, causes, and effects of offensive campaigning during popular votes (direct democratic ballots at the federal level); WP4 (Elections) aims to investigate forms, causes and effects of negativism in political campaigning for federal elections; WP5 (Political organizations) aims to study the forms, causes, and effects of offensive discourse within political organizations (parties and ad-hoc referendum committees); WP6 (Cross-sectional comparisons) aims to provide a cross-sectional comparison on offensive discourse in the political arenas covered in the project.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
New perspectives on negative campaigning: why attack politics matters
Nai Alessandro and Walter Annemarie (ed.) (2015), New perspectives on negative campaigning: why attack politics matters, ECPR Press, Colchester.
Vote as you Think: Determinants of Consistent Decision Making in Direct Democracy
Lanz Simon, Nai Alessandro (2015), Vote as you Think: Determinants of Consistent Decision Making in Direct Democracy, in SWISS POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW, 21(1), 119-139.
Choisir avec l'esprit, voter avec le cœur Causes et conséquences des processus cognitifs de formation de l'opinion en Suisse lors des votations fédérales
Nai Alessandro (2014), Choisir avec l'esprit, voter avec le cœur Causes et conséquences des processus cognitifs de formation de l'opinion en Suisse lors des votations fédérales, Seismo, Zurich.
The Cadillac, the mother-in-law, and the ballot: individual and contextual roots of ambivalence in Swiss direct democracy
Nai Alessandro (2014), The Cadillac, the mother-in-law, and the ballot: individual and contextual roots of ambivalence in Swiss direct democracy, in Electoral Studies, 33, 292-306.
The Maze and the Mirror: Voting Correctly in Direct Democracy
Nai Alessandro (2014), The Maze and the Mirror: Voting Correctly in Direct Democracy, in Social Science Quarterly, 96(2), 465-486.
What really matters is which camp goes dirty: Differential effects of negative campaigning on turnout during Swiss federal ballots
Nai Alessandro (2013), What really matters is which camp goes dirty: Differential effects of negative campaigning on turnout during Swiss federal ballots, in European Journal of Political Research, 52(1), 44-70.
Voix des élites, décision du peuple: Dynamiques de vote en démocratie directe Suisse
Nai Alessandro (ed.), Voix des élites, décision du peuple: Dynamiques de vote en démocratie directe Suisse, Seismo, Zurich.
Why “Going Negative?” Strategic and Situational Determinants of Personal Attacks in Swiss Direct Democratic Votes
Nai Alessandro, Sciarini Pascal, Why “Going Negative?” Strategic and Situational Determinants of Personal Attacks in Swiss Direct Democratic Votes, in Journal of Political Marketing, 1.

Scientific events

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
151083 Negativism in political campaigns and ambivalent opinions. A comparative multilevel analysis of Swiss and Australian national elections 01.08.2014 International short research visits

Abstract

The research project deals with offensive discourse, or negativism, during debates on political issues in Switzerland. Offensive discourse refers to the presence of direct and explicit attacks toward political adversaries (concurrent candidates or debate adversaries). The presence of such attacks in the political system, and especially in political campaigning, has extensively been analyzed in the last decades. However, to our knowledge, no cross-sectional research has been proposed in order to compare the presence of attacks in different political arenas. Furthermore, almost nothing exists on the Swiss case. The project aims to fill this gap. More specifically, we will attempt to shed lights on the forms, causes and consequences of offensive discourse in three political arenas: the parliamentary arena (through the analysis of parliamentary debates), the electoral arena (through the analysis of public debates in the context of direct democratic votes and electoral ballots), and the party organizational arena (through the analysis of debates in parties and ad-hoc referendum committees). Through original data collection and partial reanalysis of previously collected data, we will provide empirical answers to three main questions on the presence of offensive discourse: What are its forms? What are its causes? What are its effects? In order to answer these questions, the research project has six main components (workpackages): WP1 (Meta-analysis) aims to provide theoretical foundations on the presence of negativism in the political system; WP2 (Parliamentary debates) aims to provide insights on offensive discourses during Swiss lower chamber parliamentary debates; WP3 (Direct democracy) aims to shed lights on the forms, causes, and effects of offensive campaigning during popular votes (direct democratic ballots at the federal level); WP4 (Elections) aims to investigate forms, causes and effects of negativism in political campaigning for federal elections; WP5 (Political organizations) aims to study the forms, causes, and effects of offensive discourse within political organizations (parties and ad-hoc referendum committees); WP6 (Cross-sectional comparisons) aims to provide a cross-sectional comparison on offensive discourse in the political arenas covered in the project.
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