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Alix Meyer and Eric Phélippeau

What are the constraints on the political communication of party organizations? And just how much are candidates and parties spending on communication and propaganda? This chapter is an attempt to begin answering these questions. It starts by noting the scarcity of reliable and detailed comparative data on this topic before reviewing the different modes of partisan propaganda and the factors that can explain how parties and candidates can be incentivized to use more modes than others depending on the context. We observe that the behavior of parties and candidates is indeed shaped by the structure of the political system, cultural norms or the dynamics of the party system wherein they operate. To a certain extent, they are also dependent on access to certain technology. Finally, what is the impact of statutory and regulatory constraints on political communication? How does campaign finance regulation more broadly influence the contours of the electoral competition? These are some of the questions that this chapter proposes to address in a final section and conclusion.

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Jonathan Mendilow