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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

The Internet, Electoral Politics and Citizen Participation in Global Perspective

This project examines how new media are affecting political participation and campaigning in elections worldwide with particular reference to UK and Australian parliamentary elections (2010) and French and US presidential elections (2012).

It focuses on the uptake of web 2.0 tools by parties, candidates and voters and asks whether this process is fostering a new type of networked political activism - citizen-campaigning - that challenges established modes of election behaviour and management.

More specifically, do the new technologies of blogs, online video and social networking sites enable 'ordinary' voters to play a greater role in the coordination and communication of the campaign, thereby shifting power away from established elites, party members and activists?

If so, what factors help to promote this new type of activism at the individual, organisational and institutional level and what does it mean for parties, participation and the wider political system?

Do the new forms of engagement ultimately strengthen the representative model government or encourage a more direct style of involvement by citizens and a by-passing of intermediaries?

The research questions are explored using a range of original data including campaign sites, elite and public opinion surveys and new and innovative methodologies developed specifically for web 2.0 platforms.

Further information