The Web of Politics: The Internet's Impact on the American Political System / Edition 1

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Is the Internet destined to upset traditional political power in the United States? This book answers with an emphatic "no." Author Richard Davis shows how current political players including candidates, public officials, and the media are adapting to the Internet and assuring that this new medium benefits them in their struggle for power. In doing so he examines the current function of the Internet in democratic politics—educating citizens, conducting electoral campaigns, gauging public opinion, and achieving policy resolution— and the roles of current political actors in those functions. Davis's unconventional prediction concerning the Internet's impact on American politics warrants a closer look by anyone interested in learning how this new communication medium will affect us politically.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Internet is political. So are television, radio, and any number of print publications. Punctuating his account with references to politics and social science, Davis (political science, Brigham Young Univ.) here takes a sobering look at the future, concluding that the spin doctors who control other media will soon control the Internet's political content. How this will be accomplished is somewhat unclear--the Internet lacks a Huntley and Brinkley or a Walter Cronkite. Davis concludes that the same powerful institutions that own and rule other media will come to dominate the Internet. Like many books in this category, Davis's effort suffers from the constant interplay among "Internet," "WWW," and "World Wide Web." But along with Graeme Browning's Electronic Democracy (Online, 1996) and Gary W. Selnow's Electronic Whistle-Stops: The Impact of the Internet on American Politics (Praeger, 1998), it remains one of the more interesting books of late that overlays political theory on top of the Internet. For academic libraries.--Alan Schroeder, Rutan & Tucker, LLP, Costa Mesa, CA
From the Publisher

"A well-researched and finely detailed account of virtual politics today."--W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195114850
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Davis is Associate Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. He is the co-author of New Media and American Politics (with Diana Owen, Oxford, 1998), and the author of The Press and American Politics: The New Mediator, 2nd Ed. (1996), Decisions and Images: The Supreme Court and the Press (1994), and Politics and the Media (1994).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Enter the Internet 3
1 Communications Technology and Democracy 9
2 Surfing for News 40
3 Electronic Lobbying 62
4 The Virtual Campaign 85
5 121
6 The Virtual Public 149
7 The Internet as Participatory Forum 168
Methodology 187
Notes 197
Index 219
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