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The personalization of politics, whereby politicians increasingly become the main focus of political processes, is a prominent phenomenon in modern democracies that has received considerable scholarly attention in national politics. However, little is known about the scope, causes and consequences of personalization in European Union politics. In this book, Katjana Gattermann studies the interplay between four key dimensions of personalization concerning institutions, media, politicians, and citizens in EU politics.

The book argues that institutional personalization is a necessary but not sufficient pre-condition for media to increasingly report about individual politicians.  It shows that media personalization fluctuates across country and over time, while Members of the European Parliament increasingly engage in personalized legislative and communicative behaviour. These developments are conditional upon domestic media and electoral systems and have limited effects on citizen attitudes and political awareness.

Katjana Gattermann

The book concludes that as additional political actors gain formal individual responsibilities, European Union politics also becomes more complex to disentangle. Ultimately, institutions provide more effective cues than individual politicians both for media to inform citizens about European Union politics and for the latter to acquire information that may help them understand and evaluate European Union politics. These findings have important implications for the future of personalized politics in the European Union.

The book has been published with Oxford University Press on 26 August 2022. Click on this link for more information about the book. A book launch is also planned; more information will follow.