Online Campaigning

Jennifer Stromer-Galley and Ian Sheinheit

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online July 2012 | | DOI:
Online Campaigning


The research about online campaigning focuses primarily on the question of how, and whether, using information and communication technologies (ICTs) will reshape the political landscape, especially in Western democracies like the United States. Some of the research examines the ways that political campaigns are using or failing to use the Internet and its potentially democratizing affordances to engage more people more deeply in the electoral process. Other research examines the ways that citizens use or fail to use the Internet to get more involved in political campaigns. The results so far suggest a complicated picture. On the one hand, political elites, such as candidates, are increasingly using the Internet to engage supporters and mobilize them for the benefit of the campaign. On the other hand, there is evidence of increased political polarization, with those interested in politics becoming more so, and those uninterested in politics becoming even less involved and knowledgeable about politics. The research that exists focuses on established Western democracies, especially English-speaking countries. In addition, little research exists about online campaigning in countries politically organized in other ways, like dictatorships, in part because opportunities to use the Internet for political expression by elites or by citizens are limited, either because of poor Internet diffusion or because of authoritarian systems that limit free expression and dialogue between the government and the governed.

Article.  10081 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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