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Is the Internet poised to replace television as the central means of political communication? Will the advent of computer communication create a new era of citizen activism? Will the Internet ultimately lend itself more to political accountability and access or to exclusion and extremism? Is cyberspace truly the domain of the ideological right? In answering these questions, Cyberpolitics goes beyond the hype to analyze the content of political discussion on the Internet and to see how the Internet is being used politically. Empirical research translated into dozens of graphically compelling figures and tables illuminates for the first time Internet characteristics heretofore only speculated about: Who are the 'cybercitizens' using the Internet, how do they participate in the political process, and who uses the Internet most effectively to accomplish political ends? The bottom line the authors reach should be reassuring to Internet utopians and dystopians alike: As the Internet grows, it will change the nature of political action, discourse, and effect less than it will itself be changed by politics. Along the way, we learn a lot about politics on the Internet and off_in the U.S. and around the world; left, right, and center.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Internet Leviathan Chapter 3 Internet Activists Chapter 4 Building Political Communities in Cyberspace Chapter 5 Is the Internet an Instrument of Global Democratization? Chapter 6 Instantaneous Political Discussion: America Online's Chat Rooms Chapter 7 Web Sites, Interest Groups, and Politics Chapter 8 The Internet and the Future of Political Communication