Is there a crisis in representative democracy? Political Communication and Democracyuses a broad conception of political communication to interrogate the frequent assertion that there is. Political scientists face the challenge of understanding apparent evidence of a growing concensus that citizens of all democratic political systems are becoming progressively more cynical, disillusioned and pathetic. Political theory tells us that democracy is about inclusion, dialogue, public opinion, and government by the governed - al of which are the core concerns of political communication. Yet, many critics explain this absence of interest in politics by its ostensible professionalism, and the domination of image over substance. Gary D. Rawnsey aims to understand the origins of this situation, or at leasst understand why communications are thought to threaten democracy. By examining how the relationship between communication and political theory, public opinion, referendums, group mobilisation, democratisation and the internet, this book argues that there is little reason to suppose that there is a crisis in representative democracy, merely new ways of understanding and engaging in the political process.

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