How negative are elections, and does it matter? Mapping the use of negative campaigning in elections across the world.

Dr. Alessandro Nai[1]

The report by an international monitoring commission for the 2018 Presidential election in Georgia concluded that the November runoff “was marred by harsh rhetoric”, and that “the negative character of the campaign on both sides undermined the process.”[2]

The report seemingly echoes the widespread sentiment that elections in Georgia are becoming somewhat unique in the use of incivility and the duress of the political debates between competing factions. Is this the case? And, beyond the Georgian case, what is negativity and why does it matter?


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[1]        Dr. Alessandro Nai – University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

[2]        RadioFreeEurope Online. “Vashadze Rejects Zurabishvili’s Win in Georgia’s Presidential Runoff Criticized for its ‘Negative Character’.” 28 November 2018. https://www.rferl.org/a/georgian-presidential-runoff-pits-rivals-two-main-factions-/29625165.html

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