There is a long tradition of linguistic research on political discourse, but little attention has been paid to what the concept of political discourse itself encompasses. With this in mind, this article aims to understand what types of discourse are categorized as ‘political’ in linguistic research and what their characteristics are (form, type of actors, policy domains, geographical coverage). To this end, we conducted a systematic literature review of 164 scientific articles from the Scopus database. Overall, the findings show that political discourse is generally limited to the discourses of (institutionalized) political elites and most specifically to oral monological speeches. The review also highlights discrepancies regarding the geographical scope and the policy domains covered by the empirical analyses, more specifically a bias toward the Western world and issues related to external defense policies, justice and home affairs.