Online Political Debate: Motivating Factors and Impact on Political Engagement

  • Asbjørn Følstad
  • Marika Lüders
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8075)


Online political debate is increasing in importance, both as a real world phenomenon and as an object of scientific study. We present a survey study exploring people’s motivations for engaging in online political debate and how such debate may impact their general political engagement. The survey was conducted among 90 participants of an online environment for political debate hosted by one of the main Norwegian political parties. We found four motivational factors with relevance for participation in online political debate: engaging topic, want to contribute, frustration, and reciprocal learning. Sixty-four per cent of the participants answered that the online environment for political debate could make them more politically engaged. These participants reported that such an increase in political engagement could be due to the online environment providing a sense of influence, access to political debate, a means for getting updated, a lowered threshold for participation, motivating local political engagement, and awareness concerning political events.


Political Participation Civic Engagement Political Debate Online Environment Deliberative Democracy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asbjørn Følstad
    • 1
  • Marika Lüders
    • 1
  1. 1.SINTEFBlindernNorway

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