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Web 2.0 and “Politics”

September 4, 2009

The Journal of Information Technology and Politics is offering free online access to its current Special Issue of Politics and Web 2.0, put together by Andrew Chadwick, just for the week of APSA. Here’s the table of contents:

“Guest Editor’s Introduction
“The Internet and Politics in Flux”
Andrew Chadwick

Research Papers
“Realizing the Social Internet? Online Social Networking Meets Offline Civic Engagement”
– Josh Pasek; eian more; Daniel Romer

“Typing Together? Clustering of Ideological Types in Online Social Networks”
– Brian J. Gaines; Jeffery J. Mondak

“Building an Architecture of Participation? Political Parties and Web 2.0 in Britain”
– Nigel A. Jackson; Darren G. Lilleker

“Norwegian Parties and Web 2.0”
– Øyvind Kalnes

“The Labors of Internet-Assisted Activism: Overcommunication, Miscommunication, and Communicative Overload”
– Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

“Developing the “Good Citizen”: Digital Artifacts, Peer Networks, and Formal Organization During the 2003–2004 Howard Dean Campaign”
– Daniel Kreiss

“Lost in Technology? Political Parties and the Online Campaigns of Constituency Candidates in Germany’s Mixed Member Electoral System”
– Thomas Zittel

“Internet Election 2.0? Culture, Institutions, and Technology in the Korean Presidential Elections of 2002 and 2007”
– Yeon-Ok Lee

“The Internet and Mobile Technologies in Election Campaigns: The GABRIELA Women’s Party During the 2007 Philippine Elections”
– Kavita Karan; Jacques D. M. Gimeno; Edson Tandoc Jr.

I notice two things about this line-up. One is that it’s great to see political scientists taking seriously the empirical study of social media. There is a dearth of articles like these in mainstream poli-sci journals.

Second the papers the ended up in the special issue represent a broad definition of Web 2.0 but a narrow definition of “politics”: looks like a lot of comparative electoral studies. That’s important of course, but I think there’s a lot of work to do examining the relationship of Web 2.0 to other aspects of politics: movements, understandings of copyright, framing processes, the law, international diplomacy. Also citizen-government interface, the boomerang effect, representation in politics, political satire and politics, to say nothing about the politics of everyday life.

Perhaps a Special Issue of Perspectives on Politics will take up some of these broader concerns down the line? Hint, hint.

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.