Under the Radar. Dog-whistle politics in Australia

by Josh Fear

Dog-whistle politics is the art of sending coded or implicit messages to a select group of voters while keeping others in the dark. Dog whistling allows politicians to communicate divisive or reactionary ideas using apparently harmless statements so as to avoid offending or scandalising more tolerant members of the community. This paper represents the first in-depth examination of dog whistle politics in its various forms. It includes a history and theory of dog whistling, a consideration of the context in which dog-whistle politics occurs, and many examples of how politicians say one thing but really mean another.

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