For many years now we have witnessed the developing use of the internet and associated technologies by political actors and organisations. Claims and counter claims have been made as its suitability as a tool to help in the struggle to re-invigorate political participation in democracies across the globe has been contested.
This book charts the shifting sands of political activity in the digital age. It interrogates the hybrid nature of modern politics as online and offline actions blur the boundaries of traditional politics between ‘real-life’ co-presence and the booming virtual domain of politics. By so doing, it critically reflects on the latest scholarship on the subject while concurrently advancing stimulating new insights into it. Encapsulating both the range and the diverse velocities of change in different political arenas and geographical locations, this volumes seeks to map out a path if not towards the politics of tomorrow then towards a better comprehension of the politics of today.
Featuring a range of international and comparative case studies presenting research on the UK, US, Italy, France, Spain, Romania, Africa and China, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Politics and Media, Political Communication, New Media studies, Public Administration, Sociology, Communication Studies, Computing and Information and Communications Technologies.
1. Taking stock: A Meta-Analysis of the Virtual Public Sphere in Communication Journals 2. The Internet and the Decline of Euro-American Democracy 3. The Semi-Sovereign Netizen: The Fifth Estate in China 4. New techniques, new mobilizations? French parties in the Web 2.0 era 5. Do ethos, ideology, country and electoral strength make a difference in cyberspace? Testing an explanatory model of parties’ websites 6. Why Fix It When It’s Not Broken? Continuity and Adaptation in Romanian Presidential E-campaigning 7. Online Party Politics: Studying the presence of some African political parties on the Internet 8. Extreme Right Organizations and Online Politics: A Comparative Analysis on Five Western Democracies 9. Ourselves Alone (but making connections): The social media strategies of Sinn Fein 10. City Hall 2.0? Italian Local Executive Officials’ Presence and Popularity on Web 2.0 Platforms 11. Making democracy work online? Interpreting the web presence of Italian regions 12. MEPs online: Understanding communication strategies for remote representatives 13. Unaffiliated Socialization and Social Media Recruitment: Reflections from Occupy the Netherlands