Julio Juarez-Gamiz is an associate researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He has lectured on topics ranging from political communication, electoral law, journalism, discourse analysis, media and mass communication theories at different Mexican and English Universities. Julio has coordinated different national and multicultural studies on campaigns and elections, media coverage and political communications funded by the National Electoral Institute, IBOPE/AGB (now Nielsen-Ibope), the United Nations Development Program and the Mexican Secretary of State. He served as advisor to the President of the National Electoral Institute from 2015 to 2018. Christina Holtz-Bacha is Professor of Communications at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Past Chair of the International Communication's Associations (ICA) Political Communication Division. Professor Holtz-Bacha has held positions at the University of Mainz, University of Munich, the University of Bochum, the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, and was a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center/John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1999. Her research and instruction focus on political communication and strategic communication as well as German and European media policy. Alan Schroeder is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University and has worked as a journalist, television producer, and diplomat. Schroeder has written about a variety of media-related topics for such outlets as Politico, the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His work in media and politics extends internationally. He has lectured about the global phenomenon of televised debates in Spain, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Colombia. He has also trained television reporters and producers in the South Pacific and addressed journalists from China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and various countries in Latin America.
Those planning to produce or research political debates will welcome a comprehensive update outlining the happenings in the International Debate arena. This volume offers practical insights for those engaging political debates as part of applied Democracy. - Allan Louden, Department Chair and Professor of Communications, Wake Forest University The Handbook illustrates the exponential growth of political debates worldwide over the past twenty years. Regardless of world region, political structure, or cultural differences, there are universal rules, impacts, and challenges. There are also significant differences influenced by a variety of factors. The Handbook fills a major void in the literature for anyone teaching or studying political debates and for anyone advising debate sponsors. - Diana B. Carlin, Professor Emerita, Saint Louis University As this remarkably fine Handbook documents, candidate debates are now central to election campaigns in most democracies world-wide. Their organisation and conduct are influenced by underlying political systems and cultures but have evolved over time due largely to the fragmentation of party systems and multiplication of news channels. Head-to-head two-person duels have consequently often been supplemented or replaced by multi-party programmes. Many differences emerge in the book's 28 national chapters; how regulated (if at all), the offices requiring debates, whether mandatory or not, participation eligibility, number and sequencing of debates, debate formats, moderators (who and in what roles), and any audience involvement. Certain near-universal features, despite these differences, are particularly important. Leader debates typically attract very large audiences, including many normally only marginally attentive voters. Sometimes viewers have expressed disappointment after the contests, complaining that debaters' comments had been overly scripted, cautious or repetitive. Nevertheless, significant effects on knowledge gain about issues and policies have been found from research when conducted - and more so among initially less politically involved voters. As the editors rightly conclude, when this is done fairly, debates can focus voters' attention on a combination of public policy, issues and personality traits. - Jay Blumler, Emeritus Professor of Public Communication, Leeds University