Democracy Disrupted documents the most significant features of the 2020 U.S. presidential election through research conducted by leading scholars in political communication. Chapters consider the coinciding of three historical events in 2020: a 100-year pandemic co-occurring with the presidential campaign; the reinvigorated call for social and racial justice in response to the killing of George Floyd and other Black men and women; and the authoritarian lurch that emerged in reaction to Donald Trump’s norm-challenging rhetoric. The Democratic Party’s campaign stood out because of the historically diverse field of presidential candidates and the election of the first female vice president.
Chapter authors adopt diverse scientific methodologies and field-leading theories of political communication to understand the way these events forced candidates, campaigns, and voters to adapt to these extraordinary circumstances. Experiments, surveys, case studies, and textual analysis illuminate essential features of this once-in-a-generation campaign. This timely volume is edited by four scholars who have been central to describing and contextualizing each recent presidential contest.
- Indexes three historic events that coincided to make this an election that will be studied for generations: the pandemic, the insurrection at the capital, and the reinvigoration of the civil rights movement
- Utilizes the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as a natural experiment to examine long-untested assumptions about campaign effects
- Includes some of the most prominent and well-respected researchers in the area of political communication as well as emerging scholars who represent a wide range of academic programs
- Includes diverse studies from all methods of inquiry