Features of the Political Communication in Recent General Election Campaigns in Albania

Lorenc Ligori
Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at Tirana University, Faculty of Social Sciences


This paper aims to discuss some of the main specifics of the political communication in recent general election campaigns in Albania. The purpose is to determine features that relate to variables such as the electoral system, electoral campaign rules, political party system, local political culture, socio-political situation in holding of the election etc. The experience of elections in Albania, has often worsened the already tense conflictual climate between the political parties and caused the polarization of the electorate. Election campaigns were characterized by the frequent use of derogatory rhetoric directed to political adversaries, increase of the populist tone of the political discourse, lack of televised debates, and they focused mainly on quips and clashes, rather than on the electoral political programs, etc. But in addition to that, it has become clear that there is an influence of the contemporary electoral western practices, especially of the electoral campaign model of the USA. So, there are also other factors that influence the political communication i.e., the increasing role played by the electoral polls and the role played by hired foreign experts of strategy and communication. They produce other features of the political communication such as: the increase of the profile and the personalization of party leaders, and a new role and influence of a complex media structure. The paper is based on the theoretical context of the Americanization of the electoral campaign (Swanson & Mancini), the evolution of electoral campaigns (Norris), etc. In the triangle of political actors-media-audience (McNair) the paper aims to present some characteristics of the political communication in an electoral campaign in Albania. In addition to the study of literature regarding some of the specifics of the Americanization of electoral campaigns; the study of some of the features of the political communication in the latest electoral campaigns in some developed western democracies; the paper is based on the content analysis of the discourse of political party leaders in the written press (several daily newspapers were monitored, covering the period of one month before the election day). Lastly, conclusions are drawn on the commonalities and specifics of the electoral political communication in developed western democracies. Keywords: electoral campaign, political communication, party leader, media, specifics features, comparison.

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