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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-20058

Steiner, A; Jarren, O (2009). In the Twilight of Democracy. Public Affairs Consultants in Switzerland. Journal of Public Affairs, 9(2):95-109.

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Modernization processes within different fields of political communication rise new challenges. Public affairs consultants are said to meet these challenges in both an effective and efficient way. Nevertheless, the rise of public affairs consultants also poses the question of their accordance with basic principles of modern democracy. Do public affairs consultants foster or impede the democratic process with respect to participation and representation? This question is answered on the basis of empirical data on public affairs consultants in Switzerland. The analysis points out three distinguishable fields of service: lobbying, political public relations and campaigning. Whereas campaigning has the strongest public-orientation and emphasizes direct democratic institutions, the other two fields tend to be more in the backstage of the public. Results regarding public affairs services suggest a structural discrepancy between public and non-public forms of communication, which according to normative democracy theory has to be judged critically. With view to clients, policy fields and party affiliations, the results show strong imbalances in interest representation, which seem to have mainly structural and economic reasons. In the conclusion, these results are discussed with view to the necessity of more transparency and a further professionalization.




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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Date:May 2009
Deposited On:12 Aug 2009 12:17
Last Modified:23 Nov 2012 15:51
Additional Information:Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Publisher DOI:10.1002/pa.316

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