Towards an Americanization of political campaigns? The use of Facebook and Twitter for campaigning in Spain, USA and Norway

Laura Cervi, Núria Roca

Abstract

The first Obama’s victory proved to the world that in order to win a campaign social networks are essential: it is undeniable that in almost all the “developed” countries on line campaigns are (more or less) slowly but inexorably replacing actual campaigns.

For this reason, on the one hand many authors talk about the “Americanization of political campaigns”, assuming that somehow all the western countries are going into the direction taken by President Obama, and on the other hand, actually many campaigns throughout the world appear to be clearly Obama-inspired. Nevertheless we assume that both the characteristics of political systems and the peculiarities of different political cultures have an impact on the use of on line tools. In order to measure to which extent these factors influence the importance and the structure of on line campaigning, we will analyze how candidates used the two most important social networks, Facebook and Twitter, in three different countries representing three models of political, electoral and party system, in three different respective campaigns: Spain (2011), USA (2012) and Norway (2013).

Through the analysis, we will be able to conclude that actually both political system and political culture still exercise a great influence on the amount of Internet campaigning, on the quality of campaigns themselves and on the strategies applied. 

Keywords

election campaigns; political communication; Spain; United States; Norway

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