Making A Difference

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This book is a cross-national analysis of the role of the internet in national electoral campaigns. It covers an array of electoral and party systems throughout the globe from parliamentary to presidential, party-based to candidate-oriented, multi-party to two-party, and stable party system to dynamic party system. It takes a look at three groups of nations with varying levels of Internet access_those where internet usage is common across demographic groups, those where usage has reached significant levels but not widespread penetration, and those where internet access is still limited to a small elite. Each chapter is a study of a particular nation, focusing on its electoral and party systems, the accessibility of the Internet to the population, the nature of candidate/party usage, and the effects of the internet on the conduct of campaigns. By reviewing the findings from these studies, Making a Difference draws conclusions about exactly how the internet influences electoral politics.

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Editorial Reviews

Kenneth Rogerson
There are two ways to explain the impact of the Internet on democratic process. One describes the Internet's role in specific situations. The second attempts to define the concepts that help us better understand this role. These collected studies do both and do them very well. The volume allows the reader to visualize how and where the integration of the Internet into campaigns and elections has succeeded or failed and, even more importantly, to begin to comprehend why.

The breadth of cases is valuable and expansive, representing countries and regions that have not often been studied. Each country case delves deeply into the respective campaign and election systems, providing an engaging and ultimately powerful snapshot of the contemporary state of the impact of technological diffusion on democratic process.

Doris Graber
This book is an intellectual feast for all serious Internet scholars, especially comparativists. It describes and analyzes Internet coverage of election campaigning in twelve countries in the Americas, Asia, and Australia. A wide array of political communication issues take on new life when viewed from the perspectives of these politically and culturally diverse nations.
Michael Cornfield
The Internet is a driving force in globalization—but as this thought-provoking anthology discloses, that doesn't mean internet-campaigning is the same everywhere. Explore the online politics of a dozen nations with the estimable tour guides of Making a Difference. You'll be invigorated by the voyage.
December 2008 CHOICE
The analyses are generally competent and interesting, and the editors draw significant comparative conclusions from them. Recommended.
Bruce Bimber
A much-needed volume examining the Internet in context across political systems. The contributors make a big stride forward in identifying how properties of technology interact with features of political structure in processes of stasis and change.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Richard Davis is professor of political science at Brigham Young University. Diana Owen is associate professor of political science and director of American studies at Georgetown University. David Taras is professor of political science at the University of Calgary. Stephen Ward is a senior lecturer in politics at the European Studies Research Institute, University of Salford, England.

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Table of Contents

Preface   David Taras     ix
Introduction   Stephen Ward     1
Chile: Promoting the Personal Connection-The Internet and Presidential Election Campaigns   Taylor C. Boas     15
Australia: Potential Unfulfilled? The 2004 Election Online   Rachel Gibson   Ian McAllister     35
Singapore: Elections and the Internet-Online Activism and Offline Quiescence   Randolph Kluver     57
Indonesia: Electoral Politics and the Internet   David T. Hill     75
United States: Internet and Elections   Diana Owen   Richard Davis     93
Canada: Party Websites and Online Campaigning During the 2004 and 2006 Federal Elections   Tamara A. Small   David Taras   David Danchuk     113
The United Kingdom: Parties and the 2005 Virtual Election Campaign-Not Quite Normal?   Stephen Ward   Rachel Gibson   Wainer Lusoli     133
Spain: Cyberquake in a Soft Democracy? The Role of the Internet in the 2004 General Elections   Jose-Luis Dader     161
Belgium: Websites as Party Campaign Tools-Comparing the 2000 and 2006 Local Election Campaigns   Marc Hooghe   Sara Vissers     171
Netherlands: Digital Campaigning in the 2002 and 2003 ParliamentaryElections   Gerrit Voerman   Marcel Boogers     197
Italy: The Evolution of E-campaigning 1996-2006   Sara Bentivegna     217
Germany: Online Campaign Professionalism in the 2002 and 2005 National Elections   Eva Johanna Schweitzer     235
Conclusion     257
Bibliography     271
Contributors     291
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