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Political Communication and Social Theory presents an advanced and challenging text for students and scholars of political communication and mass media in democracies. It draws together work from across political communication, media sociology and political sociology, and includes a mix of theoretical debate and current examples from several democratic media systems. Its wide ranging discussions both introduce and contest the traditional scholarship on a number of contemporary topics and issues. These include: comparative political and media systems theories of democracy, representation and the public sphere political party communication, marketing and elections the production of news media and public policy media sociology and journalist-source relations celebrity politics, popular culture and political leadership new media and online democracy national-global politics and international political communication foreign policy-making, war and media the crisis of public communication in established democracies. At the same time, Political Communication and Social Theory also offers a fascinating investigation of the causes of crisis in established political and media systems. In today's democracies, trust in politicians, state institutions and mainstream media sources has dropped to new lows. The traditional business model that sustained journalism is failing and nations are struggling to respond to the existing global recession and impending environmental and resource crises. Drawing on interviews with over 100 experienced politicians, journalists and civil servants, Aeron Davis explores how the varied political actors and communicative processes, at the centre of UK democracy, may or may not be contributing to such crisis tendencies.