Drawing on in-depth ethnographic data I collected during nine months as the political advisor to a candidate in the French municipal elections in a city of 40,000, this article analyses political communication as a practical work. I will argue that political advising consists largely in the consultant’s effort to legitimize his role and his orders within the activist team. Although these orders are often challenged, the advisor’s legitimacy can be recognized if based on scholarly, linguistic, and relational, but also political resources. Therefore, political communication cannot be regarded as a trend of depoliticization, but more precisely as a phenomenon that goes along with, and even reinforces, professionalization and social selection within the political field.
- political communication
- electoral campaign