Political communication and COVID-19: Governance and rhetoric in global comparative perspective

Authors: Lilleker, D., Coman, I.A., Gregor, M. and Novelli, E.

Pages: 333-350

ISBN: 9780367636838

DOI: 10.4324/9781003120254-32


This concluding chapter draws together data from the case study chapters to gain an understanding of the role of political communication during the pandemic and the way strategies were instituted within nations. We find across the phases of the crisis a range of differing strategies but four common themes. Firstly, crises exacerbate the trend towards personalisation. Secondly, the crucial role of the mass media in informing the public, but also the fact that tensions between the political and media spheres remain prevalent. Thirdly, we suggest that social media plays a largely positive role, despite being described as causing an infodemic, it was used far more to bring communities together. Finally, where misinformation prevailed, and tensions over measures became prominent, this was due to severe systemic polarisation existing which prevented messages of unity and calls to rally around the flag being adhered to. Hence political crises and instability create the conditions for the effects of a pandemic to be felt worse; given the parlous state of many of the world’s populations, these factors are likely to exacerbate this or future crises.

Source: Scopus