Theory-building in political marketing: Parallels in public management

Patrick Butler, Neil Collins, Martin R. Fellenz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Political Marketing shares significant common ground with Public Sector Marketing, but this is not reflected in the current literature. These subdisciplines are developing in mutual isolation, thereby limiting their relevance and theoretical potential. The political marketing research literature highlights election campaigns and communications processes, even though marketing for most politicians involves being associated with actual public service delivery. The public sector marketing literature is both fragmented and heavily influenced by New Public Management which explicitly seeks to disconnect administration from politics, even though public sector managers are essential to political processes and not constrained only to the implementation of policy. The separation of these developing fields is influenced in part by the distinctive US experience of politics and administration; but that experience is untypical of other contexts and thus inclined to skew understanding and theory development. The welfare effects of marketing activity in the politics and public administration contexts are profound; an approach supportive of subdiscipline integration and development is critical.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Political Marketing
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 8 2007


  • Political marketing
  • Public sector marketing
  • Subdiscipline integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Marketing

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