The Volkswagen-Foundation Summer Academy on Political Consulting and Strategic Campaign Communications examines the state of research as well as the state of current practises in political communication, modern campaign management, political consulting and Public Relations. It focuses on the growing professionalisation of elections, political communication, modern campaign and PR techniques.
The Summer Academy, which we be held in English and will last six days from July 23 through 29, 2006 will comprise lectures, roundtables, workshops and small seminars which will be taught by an international faculty from countries such as Germany, Austria, United States, Britain etc., featuring recognized academic experts in the fields of political communication, campaigns, elections and Public Relations. In addition, and throughout the course, there will be several guest lecturers, political consultants and other professionals in the fields of communications strategy, international electioneering, and political advocacy.
Students in this summer academy will be introduced to the current state of research on the professionalisation of political consulting, on international electioneering, issue advocacy, campaign management and techniques, election analysis, and party vs. candidate-centred politics, and campaign finance etc. Case studies of different kinds of campaigns will be analysed and classics of political communication and campaign literature will be discussed in small groups. Students will also be exposed to the practical and technical elements of effective communications in different kinds of campaigns, (election, issue advocacy, referendum as well as lobbying campaigns), including conceptualisation of strategy, development of message and speechwriting, and use of different types of media. The roles of pollsters, opposition researchers etc as well as the functions of negative campaigning and online campaigning will be addressed. There will be a special session in cooperation with the ZEW (Centre for European Economic Research) focusing on Public Relations in commercial organizations which allows for the growing intersection between political communication and corporate communications.

More information on participation and application


23.07.2006 - 29.07.2006


Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, University of Mannheim, L 7,1 68161 Mannheim, Germany