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Title: The problem of 'negative advertising' : content-based regulation of political advertising in Brazil and the US
Author: Steibel, Fabro Boaz
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 4936
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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A number of scholars have studied the impact of negative ads in democracy, but they were unable to conclude whether this form of campaigning endangers or enhances political systems. Despite that, in every election, journalists, politicians, NGOs and many other actors claim that negative ads bring the worst side of political competition to the fore and, hence, should be restricted. However, how do we justify restrictions if we are not sure what negative ads do to democracy? To address this question, this research opts for an alternative perspective by asking how the problem of negative advertising is perceived by those institutions willing to protect or restrict it. The argument pursued here is that to evaluate what institutions do, we must describe what institutions perceive themselves to be doing. Based on a comparative study of 22 interviews collected in two institutions that watchdog negative advertising (the US NGO FactCheck. Org; and the Supreme Electoral Court, in Brazil), this research presents a policy analysis of how the problem of negative advertising is framed as a free speech problem. This research's findings endorse the position that in poliCymaking, facts and evidence can only be evaluated when understood as meta-products of policy discourse. The findings show that the problem of negative advertising is framed in largely different terms by experts in each case study; however, findings also show that interviewees make similar use of facts and evidence to support their framings. While interviewees disagree over what negative advertising is, they agree on what negative advertising does.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available