Celebrity politicians and politicized celebrities have had a profound impact upon the practice of politics and the way in which it is now communicated. New forms of political participation have emerged as a result and the political classes have increasingly absorbed the values of celebrity into their own PR strategies. Celebrity activists, endorsers, humanitarians and diplomats also play a part in reconfiguring politics for a more fragmented and image-conscious public arena.
In academic circles, celebrity may be viewed as a ‘manufactured product’; one fabricated by media exposure so that celebrity activists are no more than ‘bards of the powerful.’ Mark Wheeler, however, provides a more nuanced critique contending that both celebrity politicians and politicized stars should be defined by their ‘affective capacity’ to operate within the public sphere. This timely book will be a valuable resource for students of media and communication studies and political science as well as general readers keen to understand the nature and reach of contemporary celebrity culture.