(TV) Media Causing Division: The Case of Georgia

Giorgi Melikidze


          This paper focuses on the electoral polarization in post-Soviet democracies, in which mass media are assigned to have great impact on political campaigns.   The preparation for the elections during the election campaign was topical in every era. In the 19th century, new methods for conducting election campaigns developed in the United States. The Americanization of election campaign is distinguished with the characteristics such as special role of media in the pre-election period, political personalization, brittle ideological grounds and particular specialization of political campaign. The process of exerting influence by mass media on election campaign, which is described as political mediatization, takes the center stage of this paper. Mediatization in this context means the implementation of mass media logic within election campaigns. The election campaigns were in need of media professionals hired to navigate the campaign’s strategy. With the emergence of campaign advisors, emerged the term ,,Mediatization.” For the beginning of 1990s in Georgia, after 70 years of soviet governance, the first steps on the way of statehood had been made. In the post-Soviet Georgia, multiparty and competitive elections gave opportunity to the political parties to use foreign experience in the term of political campaign. The aim of the work is to examine the tendencies of Mediatization of election campaign in Georgia from 2012 to 2021. In accordance with the research hypothesis, weak institutionalization of party system creates a favorable ground for a Mediatization of political campaign.  In the research process characteristics of political mediatization existing in post-Soviet Georgia had been analyzed.
          Qualitative research methods have been utilized during the study, namely: a) Expert interviews with journalists and political consultants; b) In-depth interviews with representatives of political parties; c) In-depth interviews with selected electorate. Qualitative research methods were chosen for the work because the aim is to understand the tendencies of Mediatization of election campaign in Georgia from the point of view of respondents. Qualitative methods are more open and look more descriptions, by gathering responses like these it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of the subject.



Polarization, Election Campaign, Mediatization, Georgia

Full Text:



Anable, D. (2006). The Role of Georgia’s media and Westernd aid in the Rose Revolution.

The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 11(3), pp. 7-43. Retrived

January, 2013 http://hij.sagepub.com/content/11/3/7.full.pdf+html

Babunashvili, G. (2017). “Retrospective Voting in Georgia: Does the Past Matter?” Caucasus Survey 5(3)

Bader, M. (2008). Fluid Party Politics and the Challenge for Democracy Assistance in Georgia.

Caucasian Review of International Affairs 2(2).Retrived 18 January, 2015


Beznosov, M. (2007). Political markets of post-socialism: Anomalous development or

evolutionary Trend. ProQuest. Retrived 16 November, 2013



Blumler, J. G. and M. Gurevitch, (2001), ,,Americanization” Reconsidered: U. K. – U.S.

Campaign Communication Comparsions Across Time, pp. 380-403 in W.L. Bennett

and R.M. Entman (eds) Mediated Politics – Communications in the Future of

Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Blumler, J. G. and Kavanagh, D. (1999), The Third Age of Political Communication: Influences

And Feature. Political Communication, (16). pp. 209-230.Retrived 18

February, 2013 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/105846099198596#.VdJA7ibJJuM

Boyd-Barrett, J.O. (1977). Media imperialism: Towards an international framework for an

analysis of media systems. In: J. Curran, M. Gurevitc and J. Woollacott (eds.), Mass

communication and Society, pp. 116-135. London: Edward Arnold.

Crotty, W. (2006), ,,Party Transformations: The United States and Western Europe,” Katz,

Richard – Crotty, William (Eds), Handbook of Party Politics, Sage Publications, London.

Dawisha, K. andDeets, St. (2006). ,,Intended and Unintended Consequences of Elections in

Russia and Postcommunist States.” Paper Prepared for delivery at the Conference

of Harvard University, Russian Research Center. April 25, 2002.

Diamond, L. and Plattner, M. (2010). Liberation Technology. Democratization (26), pp. 69-83

Dobbs, M. (2000), ,,U.S. advice guided Milosevic opposition. Political consultants helped Yugosalv opposition topple authoritarian leader’s.” In: Polese, A. & O’Beachain, D. (2011). The Colour Revolution Virus and Authoritarian Antotodes: Political Protest and Regime Counterattacs in the Post-Communist Spaces, Demokratizatsiya, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 11-32. Retrived 28 January, 2013

Farrell, D. M. (1996). ,,Campaign Strategies and Tactics.” In: Comaring Democracies: Elections And Voting in Global Perspective, ed. Lawrence LeDuc, Richard G. Niemi, and Pippa Norris. Thousand Oaks,CA: Sage

Farrell, D., M., Kolodny, R. &Medvic, S. (2001). Parties and Campaign Professionals in a Digital Age. The Harvard International journal of Press / politics 6:4, pp. 11-30. Retrived 18 October, 2012http://hij.sagepub.com/content/6/4/11.abstract

Gallagher, M. (2014). Election Indices. Trinity College Dublin. Retrived22 October, 2014


Gibson, R. and Rommele, A. (2001). Changing Campaign Communications: A party-centered

Theory of Professionalisedcampaigning.Harvard International Journal of Press an Politics, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 31-43. Retrived12 April, 2015 http://www.researchgate.net/publication/249809040_Changing_Campaign_Communications_A_Party- Centered_Theory_of_Professionalized_Campaigning

Gilbreath, D and Turmanidze, K. (2017). “The Self-Defeating Game” How State Capaciy and

Policy Choice Affect Political survival. “ Caucasus Survival 5(3)

Gurevitch, M. (1999). ,,Whither the Future? Some Aferthoughts,” Political Communication,

(3), pp. 281-84

Hallin, D., Mancini, P. ,,Americanization, Globalization and secularization” In F. Esser and B.

Pfetsch, (2004). Comparing Political Communication, pp. 25-45. Cambridge

University Press.

Hjavard, S., (2008). ,,The Mediatization of Society. A Theory of the Media as Agents of Social and Cultural Change.” Nordicom Review 29(2). pp. 105-134

Hjarvard, S., (2013). The mediatization of culture and society. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Holtz-Bacha, C., (2004). ,,Political Campaign Communication: Conditional Convergence of

Modern Media Election.” In: Esser, F., Pfetsch, B. (2004). Comparing Political

Communication: Theories, Cases and Chalenges, pp. 213-230.Cambridge University

Press. Retrived 6 October, 2013


Kakachia, K. and Tamara Pataraia, T. (2013). Role of Social Networks in Georgian Party Politics.

Kavanagh, D. (1995). Election Campaigning: The New Marketing of Politics. Wiley-Blackwell

Kavanagh, D. (1996). New campaign communications: consequences for British political

parties.The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics vol. 1; pp. 60-76, Retrived 8 February, 2013 http://hij.sagepub.com/content/6/4/31.refs

Krotz, F. (2007). ,,The Meta-Process of Mediatization as a Conceptual Frame,” Global media and Communication 3(3), pp. 27-34

Laakso, M. and Taagepera, R. (1979). Effective Number of Parties: A Measure with Application to West Europe.Comparative Political Studies 12 (1). Retrived 22

November, 2014


Linz, J. (2002), ,,Parties in Contemporary Democracies: Problems and Paradoxes,” In: Gunther, R. – Ramon, J. (eds), Political Parties: Old Concepts, New Challenges, Oxford

University Press, Oxford

MacKinnon, M. (2007). The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections and Pipeline

Politics in the Former Soviet Union. New York: Carroll & Graf Pub.

Mancini, P. (1999), New Frontiers in Political Professionalism.Political Communication

(16). Retrived 12 October, 2013


Medvic, S. K. (1997), Is There a Spin Doctor in the House? The Impact of Political Consultants in Congressional Campaigns, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University.

Mitchell, L. A., (2012), The Color Revolutions. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Nancarrow, C. T. J. & Evans, M. (2004), Polls as Marketing Weapons: Implications for the

Market Research Industry. Journal of Marketing management, 20(5/6).

Retrived 11 May, 2015


Negrine, R &Papathanassopoulos, S. (1996).The ,,Americanization” of Political

Communication: A Critique.The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 1:2.Retrived 5 December, 2013 https://www.academia.edu/1944470/The_Americanization_of_Political_Communication_A_Critique

Norris, P. (2004, a). ELECTORAL ENGINEERING Voting Rules and Political Behavior.

Cambridge University Press.

Norris, P. (2004, b). Political Communications and Democratic Politics. In:Bartle, J. & Dylan,

G. (2004) Political Communication Transformed: From Morrision to

Mandelson.Basingstoke: Macmillan.

O’Shaugnessy, N. (1999). ,,Political Marketing and Political Marketing,” Newman, B. (Ed.),

Handbook of Political Marketing, Sage Publications, London.

Plasser, F., &Plasser, G. (2002). Global Political Campaigning.United States of America.

Greenwood Publishing Group.

Scammel, M. (1998). The Wisdom of the Room: U.S. Campaigning and Americanization. Joan Shorenstein Barone Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy

School of Government, Harvard University.

Schiller, F. (1968). On the Aesthetic Education of Man of Man. Trans . E. Wilkinson and L.

Willoughby(eds). Oxford The Clarendon Press.

Schultz, W. (2004). Reconstructing Mediatization as an Analytical Concept. European Journal of Communication, 19(1), pp. 87-101.

Stromback, J. (2008). Four phases of mediatization: An analysis of the mediatization of politics. The International Journal of Press / Politics 13(3). pp. 228-246

Stromback, J. and Esser, E. (2009). ,,Shaping Politics: Mediatization and Media Interventionism,” in Lundby, K. (ed.). Mediatization, Concept, Changes, Consequences (pp. 205-224). New York: Peter Lang

Swanson, D. (2005), The political Media Complex at 50. Negrine, R. and Stanyer, J. (Eds).

The Political Communication Reader. pp. 37 – 41. Retrived 15 December,


Swanson, D.L. and Mancini, P. (1996), Politics, Media and Modern Democracy. An

International Study of Innovations in Electoral Campaigning and Their

Consequences. London:Praeger Series.

Sussman, J. (2006). The Myths of ,,Democracy Assistance:” U.S. Political Intervention

in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe.Monthly Review 58(7), pp. 15-29. Retrived 19

September, 2012 http://monthlyreview.org/2006/12/01/the-myths-of-democracy-assistance-u-s- political- intervention-in- post-soviet-eastern-europe/

Sussman, G. and Krader, S. (2008), Template Revolutions: Marketing U.S. Regime Change

InEasterm Europe. Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, Vol.

(3),University of Westminster, London. Retrived25 September, 2013

http://colorrevolutionsandgeopolitics.blogspot.com/2011/07/template- revolutions-marketing- us.html

Voltmer, K. (2011), ,,How Far can Media systems Travel? Applying Hallin and Mancini’s Comparative Frameworkoutside the Western World.” In Hallin, D.C., Mancini, P.(eds), Comparing Media systems Beyond the Western World. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge & New York, pp. 224-45

Welt, C. (2006), Georgia’s Rose Revolution: From Regime WeakenessTo Regime Collapse.

Originally prepared for the ,,Waves and Troughs of Post Communist Transitions”

workshop. Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, April 28-29,

Wheatley, J. (2005), Georgia from national awakening to Rose Revolution: delayed transition in former Soviet Union.Ashgate, Aldershot.


  • There are currently no refbacks.