Internet Politics Beyond the Digital Divide
The Digital Divide has been considered key to understanding the relation between Internet and politics. However, today the use of the Internet is following a normalization trend and new country contextual factors must be taken into consideration in explaining the unequal use of the Internet in politics. This study focuses on the unequal presence of political parties online across political systems. By combining multiple sources, this study explores the relation between the unequal online presence of political parties in 190 countries, and country-contextual factors, including level of Digital Divide, and economic and democratic indicators. Here, the empirical findings resize the relation of causality between the Digital Divide and the use of the Internet for politics. They highlight that democratic status, among various other country-contextual specificities, is the strongest contextual factor in determining the unequal use of the Internet in politics for political parties.
KeywordsInternet and international politics Digital divide Democracy Comparativism in internet studies Political systems
Special thanks go to the World Information Access Project for the data on online political parties here explored.
- Chadwick, A. (2006). Internet politics: States, citizens, and new communication technologies. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Davis, R. (1999). The web of politics: The internet’s impact on the American political system. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Internet World Stats (2011). Internet usage statistics. The internet big picture. Available at: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. Accessed Nov 10 2011
- Johson, D. G. (2003). Reflections on campaign politics, the internet and ethics. In The civic web: Online politics on democratic values. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Levin, P., (2003). On line campaigning and the public interest. In The civic web: Online politics on democratic values (pp. 47–62). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Margolis, M., & Resnick, D. (2000). Politics as usual: The cyberspace ‘revolution’. Thousand Oak, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Morris, D. (1999). Vote.com: How big-money lobbyists and the media are losing their influence. Los Angeles, CA: Renaissance Books.Google Scholar
- Resnick, D. (1998). Politics on the internet: The normalization of cyberspace. In C. Toulouse & T. W. Luke (Eds.), The politics of cyberspace: A new political science reader. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Smith, C. F. & Webster, C., (1995). Information technology in political parties. In political studies association annual conference. University of York.Google Scholar
- Trechsel, A. H. et al. (2003). Evaluation of the use of new technologies in order to facilitate democracy in Europe, W.P., STOA 116 EN.Google Scholar