Click on Democracy: The Internet's Power to Change Political Apathy into Civic Action

Overview

Click on Democracy examines the first national election in which the Internet played a major role. The contributors argue that the Internet’s most profound political impact on Election 2000 has largely been missed or underestimated. The reason: the difference it made was more social than electoral, more about building political communities than about generating votes and money.Voter turnout has dwindled over the past forty years, and fewer Americans are involved in civic activities. The real story of the Internet...

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Overview

Click on Democracy examines the first national election in which the Internet played a major role. The contributors argue that the Internet’s most profound political impact on Election 2000 has largely been missed or underestimated. The reason: the difference it made was more social than electoral, more about building political communities than about generating votes and money.Voter turnout has dwindled over the past forty years, and fewer Americans are involved in civic activities. The real story of the Internet is its emergence as a community builder – under the radar of most political observers who focus on large institutions – in a society that has become politically disengaged and disenchanted. The contributors to Click on Democracy talk at length with the people who are using the Internet in new and effective ways, and who are capitalizing on the Internet’s power as a networking tool for civic action. Viewed from this bottom-up perspective, the Internet emerges as an exciting and powerful source of renewal for civic engagement.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Syracuse University professors Davis, Ellin and Reeher have taken it upon themselves to dispel the myth of the creepy, asocial Internet chat-room user by exploring how online communities leapt into action and flourished during the lengthy and confusing 2000 presidential election. While very informative, the book suffers from the penchant of the authors to spend too much time focusing on the life stories of a handful of web provocateurs-making the work drag as the bios progress to no real payoff. But the exposition of how politicians used (or failed to use) the Internet during the 2000 elections and the inside story of the political websites that sprang up to cover the goings-on is itself worth the price of admission. Despite the "digital divide" that still frustrates web activists, the authors give a hopeful account of the future of grassroots political action and community building on the Internet. (Sept. 18) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813340050
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2002
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Grant Reeher has been teaching a local political internship course every semester for the past three years, and has supervised numerous students in Washington internships over the past ten years. He is also chair of the American Political Science Association's Organized Section on Undergraduate Education, and edits its newsletter, The Political Science Educator. Steve Davis is Associate Professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications.Larry Elin is Assistant Professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, and co-chair of Newhouse's Media and American Democracy Institute.Grant Reeher is Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and also a Senior Research Associate at Maxwell's Center for Policy Research. Steve Davis is Associate Professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications.Larry Elin is Assistant Professor at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, and co-chair of Newhouse's Media and American Democracy Institute.Grant Reeher is Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and also a Senior Research Associate at Maxwell's Center for Policy Research.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Authors and Research Contributors
Foreword
1 Don't Do It, Drew 1
2 Election.dud 23
3 Hype 37
4 Humility 73
5 Hope 101
6 Communities of Belief 117
7 Communities of Action 165
8 Communities of Identity 201
9 Communities of Discourse 223
10 The Future 247
Epilogue 263
Notes 265
Index 281
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