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There is perhaps nothing more important than being able to communicate in politics. In this regard, political communication is crucial, and it necessitates careful planning. A well-crafted message can influence public opinion. Effective politicians must have a compelling style, be able to connect with various constituencies and be engaging. By applying strategic messaging, a politician can effectively convince an audience. Using social media, in particular, can have a profound impact on political communication. Engagement in politics is now becoming easier than ever before. Over the past two decades, social media has taken a central role in politics and institutions around the globe. As the spread of social media has led to easier political involvement, it has also fueled the rise of authoritarian and illiberal regimes in many countries. Therefore, it is important to study political communication and apply it to different situations carefully. We contacted our contributing authors from around the world and asked for their input. 

As Janet Steele writes in her article, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid shocked many when he declared that the Taliban would support free and independent media provided they followed Islamic law. She argues in her article that Western policymakers should take the Taliban's words seriously since they contain a set of powerful Islamic concepts likely to resonate with Muslim listeners around the world.

Dan Slater and Jeremy Boo tell us that new information technologies impact authoritarian regimes and their social opponents in various ways. They combine recent academic literature in order to examine how social media and surveillance technology shape both opposition mobilization and authoritarian control in places like China, Iran, Russia, and Singapore. They identified four distinct dynamics of digitization: Liberation Technology, Digitized Transparency, Digitized Diversion, and Big Brother.

As noted by Kutsal Yesilkagit, established liberal democracies around the globe face populism and the possibility of democratic backsliding. The rise of populist parties has forced civil servants to face a fundamental dilemma: Are they expected to serve their newly democratically elected officials, even when they disagree with their illiberal ideologies?

Ben Voth considers ethics as a matter of political communication that has vexed human experimentation in politics since its inception.  According to him, ethics in political communication is a necessity for ongoing consideration in all expert research on political communication to avoid important excesses of politics ranging from injustice to genocide.  A critical component for achieving ethical rather than unethical conduct in political communication is a careful praxis of discursive complexity. Since the 21st century has intensified its attachment to vehicles of communication rooted in artificial intelligence, expert practitioners need to enhance their pedagogy and research towards encouraging human dissent. 

Peter Preston examines the idea of democracy in the European Union. In his view, the discussion of democracy in the European Union revolves around issues like parliaments, parties, party competition, and competitive elections. He also mentions the wider media environment. The model he cites is primarily liberal. There are criticisms, however: the central Brussels machinery lacks democratic legitimacy; some recent member states from the former Soviet sphere are authoritarian; and some established member states have prominent nationalist/populist parties.

We invite you to learn more about what is shaping our world. There is a number of other articles in this issue that determine the focus of the TPQ Journal. I would like to thank many people for creating this issue for TPQ Journal and making it possible. The list includes all contributing authors as well as many others who devoted a great deal of time and effort. TPQ's team has worked hard to bring you this edition. Many of the features in it are the results of the excellent work they have done.

Our long-term partner Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom has collaborated with us to publish this special and timely issue. An important acknowledgement goes to our premium corporate sponsor Tupraş. In addition, we would like to thank our online sponsor, and the sponsor of this issue, Monaco Economic Board. We would also like to express our appreciation for the continuing support of our other sponsors: Gordon Blair, Şekerbank GYO, TEB, and Turcas.

As always, we look forward to your feedback.

Selim Alan
Selim Alan

Selim Alan is the former Editor-in-Chief of Transatlantic Policy Quarterly.

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