It is widely assumed that Donald Trump is a ‘celebrity politician’, and that he has cashed in his success on the reality show, The Apprentice, to secure political credibility and awareness. And in this respect he fits what Matthew Wood et al (2016) have labelled the ‘superstar celebrity politician’. This characterisation is the latest in a number of refinements to the definition and understanding of the celebrity politician. While this is a helpful move, I want to suggest that it might overlook one key dimension of the phenomenon. Definitions of the celebrity politician tend to focus on the source of their ‘celebrity’ – how they became famous, rather than on how they act out their celebrity role. This latter dimension features in media coverage, but is less often analysed in the political science literature. My argument is that it warrants more attention. Celebrity politicians like Trump act as rock or film stars; they do not just resemble them.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
EventPolitical Studies Association Conference - Strathclyde University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Apr 201712 Apr 2017


ConferencePolitical Studies Association Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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