Publicity and the Canadian State: Critical Communications Perspectives

Edited by Kirsten Kozolanka

© 2014

Publicity pervades our political and public culture, but little has been written that critically examines the basis of the modern Canadian “publicity state.” This collection is the first to focus on the central themes in the state’s relationship with publicity practices and the “permanent campaign,” the constant search by politicians and their strategists for popular consent. Central to this political popularity contest are publicity tools borrowed from private enterprise, turning political parties into sound bites and party members into consumers.

Publicity and the Canadian State is the first sustained study of the contemporary practices of political communication, focusing holistically on the tools of the publicity state and their ideological underpinnings: advertising, public opinion research, marketing, branding, image consulting, and media and information management, as well as related topics such as election law and finance, privacy, think-tank lobbying, and non-election communication campaigns.

Bringing together contemporary Canadian analysis by scholars in a number of fields, this collection will be a welcome new resource for academics, public relations and policy professionals, and government communicators at all levels.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 392 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.1in
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Quick Overview

Bringing together contemporary Canadian analysis by scholars in a number of fields, this collection will be a welcome new resource for academics, public relations and policy professionals, and government communicators at all levels.

Publicity and the Canadian State: Critical Communications Perspectives

Edited by Kirsten Kozolanka

© 2014

Publicity pervades our political and public culture, but little has been written that critically examines the basis of the modern Canadian “publicity state.” This collection is the first to focus on the central themes in the state’s relationship with publicity practices and the “permanent campaign,” the constant search by politicians and their strategists for popular consent. Central to this political popularity contest are publicity tools borrowed from private enterprise, turning political parties into sound bites and party members into consumers.

Publicity and the Canadian State is the first sustained study of the contemporary practices of political communication, focusing holistically on the tools of the publicity state and their ideological underpinnings: advertising, public opinion research, marketing, branding, image consulting, and media and information management, as well as related topics such as election law and finance, privacy, think-tank lobbying, and non-election communication campaigns.

Bringing together contemporary Canadian analysis by scholars in a number of fields, this collection will be a welcome new resource for academics, public relations and policy professionals, and government communicators at all levels.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 392 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.1in
  • Reviews

    “This timely collection opens a much-needed debate about the role of communication, media, and public relations in government. Anyone who cares about Canadian politics – and especially those looking for alternatives to ‘government by spin’ – needs to read this book.”


    Vincent Mosco, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Queen's University

    Publicity and the Canadian State is a strong and valuable contribution to the literature that addresses a phenomenon that is increasingly crucial to the public and political sphere in Canada. Including both theoretical arguments and important empirical contextualization, this book offers broad lessons about the nature of publicity and the state, and communicates these lessons in a clear and accessible way.”


    Paul Saurette, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa

    “An impressive collection by the leading thinkers on political communication, Publicity and the Canadian State, edited by Kirsten Kozolanka, will attract pundits, practitioners, and theorists alike who are seeking answers to the paradoxes of increasing publicity, but secrecy; education, but disengagement; hyper control, but wikileaks in Canadian democracy today. Kozolanka wants us all to be aware of the multiple persuasive traps and trappings of the contemporary publicity state. Readers will emerge sobered, but armed with alternative strategies and energized to take up the challenge of critical analysis ‘post spin.’ Authoritarian democracy in this era of the New Right is like Innis’s Empire, without communication, kept afloat by a surfeit of PR but so devoid of meaning or connection for many that it can’t be twittered away.”


    Catherine Murray, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University
  • Author Information

    Kirsten Kozolanka is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University. She has been an assistant press secretary to a political party leader on Parliament Hill, communications advisor to a cabinet minister at Queen’s Park, and a communications manager in a federal government department.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction

    Communicating for Hegemony: The Making of the Publicity State – Kirsten Kozolanka (Carleton University)

    Part 1. Political Communication

    Journalism, Corporate Media, and Democracy in the Digital Era – Frederick J. Fletcher (York University)

    In Whose Interest? Government Communication and Public Accountability? – Kirsten Kozolanka

    Publics without Politics: Surplus Publicity as Depoliticization – Darin Barney (McGill University)

    Part 2. Publicity and the State

    The War on Ideas: From Hayek to Harper – Donald Gutstein (Simon Fraser University)

    The Politics of Public Opinion – Paul Nesbitt-Larking (Huron University College, University of Western Ontario)

    Taming the Untamable? Constraints and Limits on Government Advertising – Jonathan Rose (Queen's University)

    Political Funding Regimes and Political Communication in Canada – Robert MacDermid (York University)

    Domestic Brand Politics and the Modern Publicity State – Richard Nimijean (Carleton University)

    Managing Information: Too Much Publicity, Not Enough Public Disclosure – Ken Rubin (Access to Information Advocate) and Kirsten Kozolanka

    Tracing and Tracking Canadian Privacy Discourse: The Audience as Community – Leslie Regan Shade (University of Toronto) and Tamara Shepherd (Concordia University)

    Part 3. Beyond the Publicity State

    The Permanent Campaign On-line: Platforms, Actors and Issue-Objects – Greg Elmer (Ryerson University), Ganaele Langois (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), and Fenwick McKelvey (Ryerson University)

    The Role of Social Movements and Interest Groups – Miriam Smith (York University)

    Reality Check: The Counter-Publicity of Alternative Media – Herbert Pimlott (Wilfrid Laurier University)

    Publicity State or Democratic Media? Strategies for Change – Kathleen A. Cross (Simon Fraser University), Robert A. Hackett (Simon Fraser University), and Steve Anderson (Openmedia.ca)

    References

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