L’ús de les pàgines web, Facebook, Twitter i YouTube dels candidats en tres països: Espanya (2011), Estats Units (2012) i Noruega (2013) a partir de l’anàlisi comparativa de les campanyes electorals. Cap a un nou paradigma?

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The use of the Internet and information and communication technologies has led to important changes in society (Castells, 2006) and also in the field of political communication, and therefore also in the election campaigns. Meanwhile, in recent years the quality of democracy in Western countries has been questioned by the general decline in interest of citizens for political affairs, as a result of the loss of trust with political actors. Internet can help to improve the relations between political actors and voters. The research is based on the qualitative and quantitative use of Internet (web pages, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), during the election campaign of the main candidates for the presidency in three countries example of the three models of political systems that propose Hallin & Mancini (2004): Mariano Rajoy (PP) and Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba (PSOE) in Spain (2011) as example of the Polarized Pluralist model; Barack Obama (Democrat Party) and Mitt Romney (Republican Party) in the Unitade States (2012), as example of Liberal model; and Jens Stoltenberg (Laborist Party) and Erna Solberg (Conservative Party) to Norway (2013), as example of the Corporative Democratic model. Therefore it is considered if there is a correlation between the use of the Internet and the model of political system to which they are subject; and finally, if there is a tendency to imitate the model of the United States during the election campaigns in Internet. The research is theoretically based on the contributions of the great authors of comparative politics and political systems, party systems, electoral systems, and political culture (Almond and Verba, 1963; Dahl, 1989; Duverger, 1957; Hallin and Mancini, 2004; Kirchheimer, 1966; Lijphart; 1994; Lipset and Rokkan, Sartori 1967 and 1980). Regarding the methodology, it looks at the methodological studies of Kluver et al., 2007; Lilleker, Koc et al, 2009; Schneider and Foot, 2002 Vergeer, Hermans and Cunha, 2013. They propose different categories from which the web sites can be analyzed, and this research adapt it to other social networks: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Thus, the coding system arises from the proposal of Vergeer and Cunha (2009). The researchers build a battery of questions that can be answered with a yes or no: every question answered with a yes, is marked with a 1, and for every question ansewred with a no, is marked with a 0. The questions are divided into three categories proposed by Lilleker and Vedel (2013): information, discussion or debate (deliberation) and mobilization and coordination for citizen participation), so it is considered that each level provides a more authentic relation between the candidates and voters, building closer relations and improving the quality of democracy. The research concludes that US candidates were the ones that better qualitative and quantitative use made of Internet (web pages, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube); election campaigns of most democratic countries seem increasingly to resemble each other, but we also believe that the political system of each country still influence the quality of election campaigns; and we also conclude that election campaigns are not being americanized, although we put some nuances.
Date of Award19 Oct 2018
Original languageCatalan
SupervisorLaura Cervi (Director) & Jose Manuel Perez Tornero (Tutor)


  • Political communication
  • Election campaigns
  • Social networks

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