O modelo de comunicação política da campanha eleitoral de Humberto Delgado em 1958
: uma campanha americanizada

  • Joana Rita Marques dos Reis

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis is about the election campaign of Humberto Delgado to the Presidency of the Republic in 1958, focusing mainly on the political communication model of the campaign and how it was constructed. Influenced by his experience of several years in the United States, General Delgado inaugurated a new style of approach to people by questioning the regime, which proved a success in terms of popular adhesion. His campaign constituted the largest threat to the Estado Novo for more than 40 years in which the regime was in influence in Portugal. In this sense, it is particularly pertinent in the context of political communication, an indepth study of how this influence, on the one hand, had an impact on Humberto Delgado's campaign and, on the other hand, was also conditioned by the country's political contingencies. The research crosses theoretical perspectives on political regimes, media systems and electoral campaign models in democratic and non-democratic contexts to discuss the political communication model of Humberto Delgado's electoral campaign. What political communication model reveals the campaign is the main research question, along with several other questions: What was the communication strategy of the campaign? How did the campaign stand against the regime? Does the campaign feature elements of professionalization? Using a qualitative methodology, this thesis employs documental analysis and interviews as methods to work on a corpus composed of documents, interviews, campaign materials and press articles. The research was developed in three stages. At first, the research involved a process of reconstituting the campaign; In a second phase, the elements that characterize the campaign were identified and analyzed and, in a third stage, the results were debated in the light of the theoretical work to inform the campaign's political communication model. What was communicated, how it was communicated, what media was used, how the media behaved and what kind of communication was the basis for this campaign of democratic model, within a non-democratic regime, were some of the issues that are proposed to be answered with this investigation. This investigation concluded that this was a campaign with a communication strategy and a degree of professionalization totally unexpected in the context within which it took place.
Date of Award30 May 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRita Figueiras (Supervisor)


  • Estado Novo
  • Humberto Delgado
  • Electoral campaign
  • 1958 presidential elections
  • Modern campaigns


  • Doutoramento em Ciências da Comunicação

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