Social Media and Democracy: Innovations in Participatory Politics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Social Media and Democracy

Innovations in Participatory Politics, 1st Edition

Edited by Brian D. Loader, Dan Mercea


276 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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This book critically investigates the complex interaction between social media and contemporary democratic politics, and provides a grounded analysis of the emerging importance of Social media in civic engagement.

Social media applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, have increasingly been adopted by politicians, political activists and social movements as a means to engage, organize and communicate with citizens worldwide. Drawing on Obama’s Presidential campaign, opposition and protests in the Arab states, and the mobilization of support for campaigns against tuition fee increases and the UK Uncut demonstrations, this book presents evidence-based research and analysis. Renowned international scholars examine the salience of the network as a metaphor for understanding our social world, but also the centrality of the Internet in civic and political networks. Whilst acknowledging the power of social media, the contributors question the claim it is a utopian tool of democracy, and suggests a cautious approach to facilitate more participative democracy is necessary.

Providing the most up-to-date analysis of social media, citizenship and democracy, Social Media and Democracy will be of strong interest to students and scholars of Political Science, Social Policy, Sociology, Communication Studies, Computing and Information and Communications Technologies.


"Loader and Mercea’s edited book on the effect of social media on democracy provides a realistic and at times optimistic lens with which to view research that has emerged regarding the participatory potential of new media technologies. This book is ultimately a good launching point for considering the bridge from traditional to new media, inspiring the reader to consider all the ways in which one might be able to participate both online and offline." - Natalie Pennington, University of Kansas, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Networking democracy? Social media innovations in participatory politics BRIAN D. LOADER and DAN MERCEA Part 1: Social Movements: Pushing the Boundaries of Digital Political Participation 2. Digital Media and the Personalization of Collective Action: Social Technology and the Organization of Protests Against the Global Economic Crisis W. LANCE BENNETT and ALEXANDRA SEGERBERG 3. Communication in Movement: social movements as agents of participatory democracy DONATELLA DELLA PORTA Part 2: Participation Dynamics: Intersections Between Social and Traditional Media 4. Poverty in the News: A Framing Analysis of Coverage in Canada and the United Kingdom JOANNA REDDEN 5. The News Media as Networked Political Actors: How Italian Media are Reclaiming Political Ground Political Ground by Harnessing Online Participation CRISTIAN VACCARI 6. Trust, Confidence, Credibility: Citizen Responses on Twitter to Opinion Polls During the 2010 UK General Election NICK ANSTEAD, BEN O’LOUGHLIN, LAWRENCE AMPOFO 7. What the Hashtag? A Content Analysis of Canadian Politics on Twitter TAMARA SMALL Part 3: Digital Political Participation in Stasis or Flux? 8. The Political Competence of Internet Participants- Evidence from Finland HENRIK SERUP CHRISTENSEN and ÅSA BENGTSSON 9. Reaching Citizens Online: How Youth Organizations are Evolving their Web Presence JANELLE WARD 10. Online Youth Civic Attitudes and the Limits of Civic Consumerism: the Emerging Challenge to the Internet’s Democratic Potential ROMAN GERODIMOS 11. Constructing Australian Youth Online: Empowered but Dutiful Citizens? ARIADNE VROMEN 12. Online Participation: New Forms of Civic and Political Engagement or Just New Opportunities for Networked Individualism GIOVANNA MASCHERONI 13. How the Internet is Giving Birth (to) a New Social Order JODI H. COHEN & JENNIFER M. RAYMOND

About the Editors

Brian D. Loader is Associate Director of the Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU) based at the University of York, UK.

Dan Mercea is Teaching Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of York, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Political Communication

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