Networking democracy? Social media innovations in participatory politics”

Loader, B.D. & Mercea, D. (2011). Networking democracy? Social media innovations in participatory politics”. Information, Communication and Society, 14(6), pp. 757-769. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2011.592648

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Early conceptions of digital democracy as a virtual public sphere or civic commons have been replaced by a new technological optimism for democratic renewal based upon the open and collaborative networking characteristics of social media. This article provides an introduction to a special issue of the international journal Information, Communication & Society which attempts to present a grounded analysis on these claims drawing upon evidence-based research and analysis. A more cautious approach is suggested for the potential of social media to facilitate more participative democracy whilst acknowledging its disruptive value for challenging traditional interests and modes of communicative power.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Information, Communication and Society on 02 Aug 2011, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital democracy, electronic democracy, social media, public sphere.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Sociology

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