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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, Political Science and Public Policy: Re-examining Collective Action, Governance and Citizen-Government Interactions in the Digital Era

This project aims to develop methodologies to study online political behaviour including use of the Internet to generate new data and experiments; to collect and analyse data on internet-mediated interactions at both individual and organisational levels; and to use this data to re-examine and where necessary develop political science knowledge and theory in light of widespread use of the Internet

First, the project will re-examine the logic of collective action, assessing the impact of reduced communication and coordination costs; the changing nature of leadership; and the effects of different information environments on propensity to participate in political mobilisation. This part of the research will involve conducting laboratory and field experiments into online behaviour.

Second, the research will develop the Digital-era Governance model for newer 'Web 2.0' applications and other technological developments such as cloud computing. The research will re-examine the nature of citizen-government interactions in this changing environment, examining the impact of Internet-based mediation on information exchange, organisational forms in government and citizen participation in policy-making. This part of the research will involve a comparison of government's online presence in eight countries, using webmetric techniques, and in-depth qualitative analysis of governance models, using elite interviewing and documentary analysis.