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Political marketing management and theories of democracy

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Political marketing management is often criticized for devaluing democratic processes. However, no literature exists which outlines different concepts of democracies and systematically juxtaposes them with political marketing management in its varied conceptual and practical facets. In this article, we outline three different perspectives, i.e. a selling-oriented, an instrumentally-oriented, and a relational political marketing management, and analyse their compatibility with two different concepts of democracy, specifically competitive elitism and deliberative democracy. We discuss implications of political marketing vis-à-vis the theory of democracy as well as necessary further research. We find that while certain political marketing management perspectives are associated with different theories of democracy, the current normal paradigm of marketing theory shows the least overlap with democratic theories.

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