Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Politikwissenschaft, Institut für » Prof. Dr. Hanspeter Kriesi (emeritiert) » Kriesi

Completed research project

Title / Titel The strategies of political actors – process and message (NCCR Democracy)
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Political campaigns are gaining in importance in today’s audience democracy, where an ever-growing part of politics is media-centered. While an abundant supply of information is available, the public and the decision-makers can only focus on a limited number of politically relevant problems. Therefore, the struggle for attention has become the focal point of democratic politics, and attention shifts the key mechanisms in the development of political conflicts.

This project focuses on the public-oriented strategies of political actors who are, together with the media and the public, the relevant participants in political campaigns. Political actors such as political decision-makers, interest groups, social movement organizations, experts and international organizations not only struggle for the attention of the public in order to promote their agenda. They also seek to influence political decisions by shifting the focus of the public debate to aspects favouring their own position and by attempting to persuade the public of the validity of their own arguments.

Therefore, public opinion not only has an impact on the political process but is itself decisively shaped by politics. The project analyzes the strategies political actors adopt to influence public opinion in political campaigns and their reactions to shifts in public attention and support. It focuses on the questions such as these:

• How do political actors try to influence public opinion?
• Which strategies do they rely on?
• To what extent are they responsive to the public and the media?

This project is closely interlinked with the NCCR projects 12 and 13 since all three analyze the reciprocal influences and exchange processes among the three relevant actors in direct-democratic campaigns in Switzerland, – political actors (project 11), the media (project 12), and the citizen public (project 13).
Publications / Publikationen Kriesi, Hanspeter, Laurent Bernhard & Regula Hänggli (2007). Strategies in Direct-Democratic Campaigns. NCCR Working Paper N°8.
Keywords / Suchbegriffe Political campaigns; strategies; direct democracy; political science
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Hanspeter Kriesi (Project Leader)
Laurent Bernhard, PhD
Regula Hänggli, PhD
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Programm NFS/NCCR)
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Dr. Heinz Bonfadelli, IPMZ, University of Zurich Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Siegert, IPMZ, University of Zurich Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Werner Wirth, IPMZ, University of Zurich Switzerland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Oct 2005 to Sep 2009