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A war room in Canada : politics, journalism, publics and the competition for credibility


A war room in Canada : politics, journalism, publics and the competition for credibility

McLean, James S (2008) A war room in Canada : politics, journalism, publics and the competition for credibility. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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NR45673.pdf - Accepted Version


The central objective of A War Room in Canada is to develop a richer understanding of the subsumed motivations behind the practices of political war rooms, the organizations that drive political communication at election time. To do so, this dissertation examines the role of the war room of the New Democratic Party during the general election campaign of 2005-06, providing an insider's view with respect to the underlying stakes in play for political actors, journalists, and publics. It considers an arc of theoretical positions from Durkheim's notion of organic solidarity and its conceptual link to contemporary democracy, to neofunctionalism and its concern for legitimation and symbolic action. Theoretical gaps in the neofunctionalist view are employed as a platform to project a line of thought that brings together notions from Pierre Bourdieu's conceptualization of capitals and fields, scholarly debates arising from Jürgen Habermas's theorization of the public sphere, and recent conceptualizations of the relationship between publics and counterpublics. From these articulated theoretical relationships, the notion of credibility is posited as a specific form of symbolic capital, one that acts as a medium of exchange within and between the fields of politics, journalism, and the field of power/publics. A series of war-room communication measures, strategies and tactics mobilized through the competition for credibility, are then considered with respect to their resonance among voters and, ultimately, the exchange of credibility for votes and votes for constitutionally-credited power.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:McLean, James S
Pagination:v, 326 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph.D.
Program:Communication Studies
Thesis Supervisor(s):Buxton, W
ID Code:975239
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 15:45
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:39
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