2013-2014 Fall Term

Political Communication Syllabus

COURSE INSTRUCTOR : Elif Dördüncü Aydemir, PhD

COURSE DESCRIPTION : This course examines and introduces the essential theories, research and practices of different forms of political communication to the students from a comparative perspective. While visiting the fundamental theories and their worldwide applications, the student is invited to have a 360° vision and in depth understanding of Mass Media communication in political affairs, public opinion forming, political campaigning and government relations issues.

COURSE OBJECTIVES : In this course,we would like to demonstrate the relationship between democracy, citizen deliberation and communication tools. While understanding the basic communication theories guiding political practitioner and government officials, we will discuss how  media affect citizens’ political attitudes. Having an insight on different examples of campaigns from Turkey and around the world we will differentiate tools and strategies for different target groups.

COURSE STRUCTURE : The format of this course is a combination of lecture, discussion and examination of different communication materials used in campaigns. The students are also expected to follow the reading material proposed to enhance a lively debate. As independent and critical thinking is valued in this class, questions and debates which will incorporate material from lectures, readings and perceptions are welcome in the class.

COURSE SCHEDULE : This course is scheduled for  the 14 weeks of fall semester 2013-2014. Each week having 3hours of lessons the titles for each week will be as follows:

Week 1:  What is Political Communication?

                -A historical presentation

                - The actors and functions of political communication

Week 2: How to form a public opinion and mobilize citizens for political purposes

Week 3: The impact of New Media vs. Old Media in Political Communication

Week 4: Social Change and the role of Political Communication (Case study for Arab Spring and China)

Week 5 : Grassroots Politics and Communication

Week 6 : Public Opinion Polling and Policy Making

Week 7 : Speech Analysis and Press Communications

Week 8 : The Obama Campaigns : Innovation and Mobilisation

Week 9 :  How does Europe deal with Political Communication (The Case for France, Italy and European Union elections visited)

Week 10  : Campaigning in Turkey- Basics

Week 11 : Local Elections in Turkey

Week 12 : Political Communication and Advocacy for ethical and other causes (NGO’s, Syndicates, Environment and Gender Issues)

Week 13 : Political Communication for Corporate World

Week 14 : An  Overview of the semester

READING MATERIAL : The reading material for this course is a combination of reference books, articles, press releases, speeches and other campaign information. Also, campaign material used during the previous elections will be revisited. The reading language will be English and Turkish. The list of this material will be distributed to the class.

ATTENDANCE : While there will be no penalization for absence, the flow of the course is highly dependent on the attendance. That’s why full attendance is encouraged for the final success. Any work due on a day the student is absent will be considered late, unless the absence is excused by the administration of the faculty.

GRADING : Class Participation  20%

                   Research & Group Presentation 40 %

                   Final Exam 40 %

QUALITY OF WORK AND ACADEMIC INTEGRITY : The student is expected to complete quality work reflective of his/her intellectual abilities. This includes the amount of research and work put into the readings and assignments as well as attention to details such as proper grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, writing style and format. The student is expected to turn in his/her own work. Plagiarism will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Proper citation and referential use is expected.