A produção científica em Relações Públicas e Política: uma análise bibliométrica / Scientific production on Public Relations and Politics: a bibliometric analysis

Pedro Chapaval-Pimentel, Davi Pereira Lago, Vitor Matheus-Beira Machado


Compreender o campo acadêmico implica responsabilidades e produz resultado naquilo que é reconhecido como saber científico. Logo, este artigo tem como objetivo examinar a produção acadêmica dos estudos que trabalham a política e as relações públicas em conjunto. Para cumprir com este objetivo, foi realizada uma análise bibliométrica de abordagem quantitativa em 2.291 artigos e revisões publicadas entre os anos de 1937 e 2019 em periódicos indexados na base de dados Scopus. Este esforço justifica-se, pois ainda que técnicas e práticas de relações públicas existam há milênios, o campo teórico ainda exige debates necessários a fim diagnosticar os seus fundamentos e apontar caminhos para produzir material inovador que gere contribuições ao desenvolvimento da sociedade. O método aplicado envolveu a análise de citações, co-autoria e co-ocorrência de palavras. Os resultados encontrados indicam que o número de publicações segue uma tendência crescente e demonstram amadurecimento no estudo dos temas em questão. Trabalhos que lidam com relações públicas e política tratam de questões multidisciplinares e não se limitam à área da Comunicação.

Palavras-chave: Relações Públicas, Política, Bibliometria, Scopus


Life in society is a natural imperative as human beings are not supposed nor allowed to live in isolation from their pairs. Relations of power emerge once societies are constituted by constellations of interests. Public relations arises, thus, in the necessity of conciliating and promoting different interests among publics. Specifically, by dealing with politics, the public relations provide the logics and tools needed for a complex and uncertain environment. It also helps to turn the public opinion favourable to the accomplishment of different agents’ goals.

Although public relations techniques and practices have existed for millennia, the theoretical field still needs debates to diagnose and comprehend its foundations. Scholars also urge for more researches in order to suggest directions to produce innovative knowledge that effectively contributes to the development of society. The authors believe that public relations is the field of knowledge that when better understood and operationalized can promote it for its ability to deal with distinct interests among publics.

In this sense, not only the (in)congruencescongruencies between public relations and politics have impacted agents doing politics, but also required a better comprehension and understanding about the state of the knowledge. Given this, the paper aims to answer the following research question: how scientific production that deals with public relations and politics in conjunction is characterised?

Methodologically, the article takes the premise that the publication of academic papers is the most used and valued instrument by researchers who want to publicize the results of their investigations. It is also understood that it is the way for a specific field to lay its foundations and become both recognised and established among a community of scholars. To assess the academic production that deals both with politics and public relations, a quantitative approach was carried out in 2,291 articles and reviews published between 1937 and 2019 in journals indexed in the Scopus database, extending the analysis made by previous scientific reviews. The bibliometrics analysis encompassed the evaluation of citations, co-authorship and co-occurrence of words.

Four stages of research were identified in the paper (1937-1982; 1983-1996; 1997-2004; 2005-up-to-date) and the results indicate that the number of publications follows a growing trend presenting maturity in the study of both themes conjoint. Broadly, researches deal with multidisciplinary issues and are not limited to the field of Communication, encompassing streams of research in the following areas: Humans Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Health, Natural and Medical Sciences.

The most referenced papers deal with confidence and risk in democracies, network analysis, public opinion and media, and relationship management. It was also found a humanistic approach to organisations’ management and a more pragmatist approach regarding the profession. The results also bring differences in comparison to previous researches that had established two schools of thought; the American pragmatist and the French critical schools. This article points to two schools of thinking regarding public relations and politics, which may be established in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, the paper does not claim that the effort presented is closed to new insights but asks for qualitative researches to have a deeper understanding of the quantitative analysis employed here.

Keywords: Public Relations, Politics, Bibliometry, Scopus


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