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Title: Digital media, power, and democracy in parties and election campaigns: Party decline or party renewal?
Authors: Chadwick, Andrew
Stromer-Galley, Jennifer
Keywords: Parties
Digital media
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © The authors. Published by SAGE Journals
Citation: CHADWICK, A. and STROMER-GALLEY, J., 2016. Digital media, power, and democracy in parties and election campaigns: Party decline or party renewal? The International Journal of Press/Politics, 21(3), pp. 283-293.
Abstract: The role of digital media practices in reshaping political parties and election campaigns is driven by a tension between control and interactivity but the overall outcome for the party organizational form is highly uncertain. Recent evidence contradicts scholarship on the so-called “death” of parties and suggests instead that parties may be going through a long-term process of adaptation to postmaterial political culture. We sketch out a conceptual approach for understanding this process, which we argue is being shaped by interactions between the organizations, norms, and rules of electoral politics; postmaterial attitudes toward political engagement; and the affordances and uses of digital media. Digital media foster cultures of organizational experimentation and a party-as-movement mentality that enable many to reject norms of hierarchical discipline and habitual partisan loyalty. This context readily accommodates populist appeals and angry protest—on the right as well as the left. Substantial publics now see election campaigns as another opportunity for personalized and contentious political expression. As a result, we speculate that parties are being renewed from the outside in as digitally-enabled citizens breathe new life into an old form by (partly) remaking it in their own participatory image. Particularly on the left, the overall outcome might prove more positive for democratic engagement and the decentralization of political power than many have assumed.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal The International Journal of Press/Politics and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1940161216646731
Sponsor: The authors received financial support from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and Royal Holloway, University of London’s Department of Politics and International Relations for hosting the workshop that led to the publication of this article.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/1940161216646731
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/27185
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/1940161216646731
ISSN: 1940-1612
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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