The Performative Presidency brings together literatures describing presidential leadership strategies, public understandings of citizenship, and news production and media techlogies between the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Bill Clinton, and details how the relations between these spheres have changed over time. Jason L. Mast demonstrates how interactions between leaders, publics, and media are organized in a theatrical way, and argues that mass mediated plot formation and character development play an increasing role in structuring the political arena. He shows politics as a process of ongoing performances staged by motivated political actors, mediated by critics, and interpreted by audiences, in the context of a deeply rooted, widely shared system of collective representations. The interdisciplinary framework of this book brings together a semiotic theory of culture with concepts from the burgeoning field of performance studies.
Jason L. Mast is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Karl Mannheim Chair for Cultural Studies at Zeppelin University, Germany.
Winner of Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2013.