CALL FOR PAPERS: Communication Studies Special Issue on 2012 Elections

"Consistency and Change in Campaign Communication: Analyzing the 2012 Elections"

Mitchell S. McKinney, Guest Editor,

Submission Deadline: March 1, 2013

The 2012 U.S. elections provide communication scholars a prime opportunity to examine both changes and consistencies in political campaign communication. Certainly, much has been written about the influence of new technologies in campaign communication. From social media to all types of digital technologies, candidates, media, and citizens are engaging the electoral process in new ways. Yet, more traditional modes and forms of communication remain prevalent in political campaigns, including candidates’ use of conventional mass media to reach voters, or citizen protests and activism. In many instances, however, the intersection of consistency and change stimulates current campaign communication practices. From candidates’ and interest groups’ micro-targeting of political ads via digital media, to citizens’ live tweeting televised debates, the convergence of so-called “old” and “new” communication practices in the 2012 elections provide interesting possibilities for investigation.

Submissions are invited for this special issue of Communication Studies that focus on any relevant aspect of campaign communication in the context of the 2012 elections. Studies that employ any appropriate methodology are welcome. Studies may examine communication content and/or effects, including rhetorical-critical analysis. Possible topics and areas of investigation may include (but are not limited to):

  • All levels of political campaign communication, including presidential campaigns – both primary and general election – as well as analysis of non-presidential or lower-level campaigns;
  • Popular culture and politics, including entertainment and politics;
  • The role of communication technologies in political campaigns;
  • The influence of 2012 campaign communication on voter opinion and electoral behavior;
  • Political socialization, including particularly the engagement of young citizens in the 2012 elections;
  • Citizen engagement and political activism in the 2012 elections;
  • Analysis of citizen deliberation and political talk;
  • The role of women and minority candidates and voters in the 2012 elections;
  • News media coverage of 2012 candidates, campaign issues and political institutions.

Manuscripts should be prepared for blind review in accordance with the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and should contain no more than 7500 words total (including tables, references, endnotes, and appendices). All manuscripts must be submitted no later than March 1, 2013 and should be submitted electronically via the ScholarOne Manuscripts website located at: (identify manuscript type as 2012 Elections). Questions regarding the special issue may be directed to guest editor Mitchell S. McKinney (