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Winner of the American Sociological Association’s Communication and Information Technologies Section Outstanding Book Award for 2007

Cover Description

In the developed world, there is no longer an issue of whether the Internet affects politics-but rather how, why, and with what consequences. With the Internet now spreading at a breathtaking rate in the developing world, the new medium is fraught with tensions, paradoxes, and contradictions. How do we make sense of these? In this major new work, Andrew Chadwick addresses such concerns, providing the first comprehensive overview of Internet politics.

Internet Politics examines the impact of new communication technologies on political parties and elections, pressure groups, social movements, local democracy, public bureaucracies, and global governance. It also analyzes persistent and controversial policy problems, including the digital divide; the governance of the Internet itself; the tensions between surveillance, privacy, and security; and the political economy of the Internet media sector. The approach is explicitly comparative, providing numerous examples from the U.S., Britain, and many other countries. Written in a clear and accessible style, this theoretically sophisticated and up-to-date text reveals the key difference the Internet makes in how we “do” politics and how we “think about” political life.

A companion website, www.andrewchadwick.com offers dynamic, regularly updated material to supplement the book, along with PowerPoint slides for students and instructors, data spreadsheets, and additional case studies.

Each chapter includes an opening overview, discussion points, and a guide to further reading. Featuring numerous figures, tables, and text boxes, Internet Politics is ideal for undergraduate and graduate courses in political science, international relations, and communication studies.

Table of Contents

Figures, Tables, and Exhibits
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Introduction

Part One: Contexts
Chapter 2: Internet Politics: Some Conceptual Tools
Chapter 3: Network Logic: A Political Pre-History of the Internet
Chapter 4: Access, Inclusion, and the Digital Divide

Part Two: Institutions
Chapter 5: Community, Deliberation and Participation: E-Democracy
Chapter 6: Interest Groups and Social Movements: E-Mobilization
Chapter 7: Parties, Candidates, and Elections: E-Campaigning
Chapter 8: Executives and Bureaucracies: E-Government

Part Three: Issues and Controversies
Chapter 9: Constructing the Global Information Society
Chapter 10: The Rise of Internet Governance
Chapter 11: Surveillance, Privacy, and Security
Chapter 12: The Political Economy of Internet Media

Chapter 13: Conclusion: The Future of Internet Politics

Bibliography
Index

Publisher: Oxford University Press
April 2006
Paperback, 400 pages

Advance Praise

“Chadwick provides us with the most comprehensive look at the internet and politics to date. This valuable text covers the history of the internet, patterns of citizen use, debates over the impact of e-politics, and comparative perspectives on e-government, citizen participation, activism, privacy issues, and the governance issues facing the most decisive political technology of the twenty-first century. A most impressive work.“—W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington.

“Its strengths include exemplary organization of the topics, extremely thorough research, and the inclusion of just about every significant source or opinion on the issues addressed. Chadwick has done a remarkable and superb job with this book. It will be an outstanding contribution to the literature on the internet’s impact on society.” —Gary Chapman, The University of Texas at Austin.

“It tells the stories it needs to tell in a very clear, pithy way. It covers the issues I think most research scholars are addressing and that most students should be discussing.“—Kenneth Rogerson, Duke University.

"The most thorough and comprehensive book available about the internet and politics - Chadwick is able to combine well-crafted introductory material aimed at students first approaching the subject with an erudite overview of the leading research literature."—Bruce Bimber, University of California at Santa Barbara.

Post-publication Reviews

"This is the book for which many of us have been waiting: a comprehensive, scholarly and accessible text on the significance of new technologies for the study and practice of contemporary politics and government. And in general it does not disappoint. Chadwick displays an infectious enthusiasm for his subject, he is frighteningly well-read in the grey literature that proliferates in this field, he can summarise neatly all the main bodies of theoretical work in the field and he displays a handy knack of explaining complex technologies with clarity and aplomb. Above all, he manages to convey his keen conviction of the importance of technological change and the fun of researching it… What will strike any reader of this book is the sheer ambition of its scope… [It] should become a well-read and widely-cited contribution to this fascinating field."—Professor Christine Bellamy, Nottingham Trent University, in Public Administration 85 (4), 2007.

"Andrew Chadwick’s Internet Politics provides an extremely comprehensive and useful summary of the ever-expanding literature on politics and the internet… [T]he book is remarkably successful and the author should be commended for imposing such sophisticated order on what has become, rather like its subject, an expanding and increasingly diversifying field… [T]he treatment of e-government initiatives is particularly instructive, with the author offering an incisive critique of their consumer-oriented focus and under-developed and increasingly fractured relationship with the e-democracy agenda. Essential reading for any new scholar entering the field of internet politics, or for more established scholars entering unfamiliar sub-field territory.—Professor Rachel Gibson, University of Manchester, in Governance, 21 (1), 2008.

"A timely, relevant book, of ambitious scope, that is a worthy addition to undergraduate and postgraduate reading lists across a spectrum of social science courses. Importantly, it is a book that students should find interesting to read and encouraging of considered reflection upon questions of contemporary and deep significance for society, polity, and citizen."—Dr Eleanor Burt, University of St. Andrews, in Information Polity 12 (2007), pp. 95-96.

"Lack of predictability regarding the internet can be dealt with by academics in a variety of ways… A common approach is to speculate wildly, making grand predictions of online virtual lifestyles and electronic penetration into every aspect of our lives… An alternative strategy is to provide a solid and well-researched account of the origins, current status and likely directions for some specific trends in the world of the worldwide web. It is this latter approach that Chadwick chooses to take in Internet Politics."—Dr Mark Erickson, University of Brighton in European Journal of Communication 22 (2), 2007.

"Starting with an overview of the internet’s development—providing a context for understanding why it works in the way it does, how far it has managed to permeate society, and giving a realistic picture of its impact to date - Chadwick goes on to discuss various key issues in detail. His choices, ranging from "e-democracy” to the difficulties of regulating such a broad and ever-changing medium, are all excellently explained. With the web still being developed without any real guiding hand, with no effective systems of regulation, and with no proven models for online success in any area - be it commercial, political, or personal - it is hard enough to keep track of recent developments, let alone predict the future paths or apparent trends… He has therefore sensibly set up a companion website to continually update this intelligent and considered textbook… [I]t promises to be a fascinating resource for both students and political actors alike.“—J. Clive Matthews, Times Literary Supplement, December 1, 2006.

"Well researched, timely and readable… manages to impress both in its scope and its depth… Internet Politics should be required reading for anyone attempting to understanding the way in which the internet affects our lives."—Dr Mathias Klang, University of Göteborg, in Journal of Information, Communication & Ethics in Society 5 (1), 2007.

"Consistently relying on his extensive command of political science theory, Chadwick covers a large number of examples in each chapter and elucidates the ways in which the internet has modified political practices and, in the process, generated new versions of existing political theories. Its methodology and its insights… go far beyond introductory material and stand as a model of scholarly analysis. Chadwick is fully aware of the risks with which the field of internet Studies is fraught, yet he has managed to transcend the essential fluidity of his subject matter to write a solidly researched and constantly illuminating book."—Professor Viviane Serfaty, Université de Marne-la-Vallée (Book of the Month review for December 2006, for Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies).

"Chadwick’s work is a remarkably comprehensive examination of the online phenomenon and its contribution to politics. His book, however, is not just an exploration of parties and policies. He also acknowledges the very real political battles for control of the technology that allows the World Wide Web to function. He offers a compelling outline of efforts to control internet development, of attempts by some governments to regulate the internet, and of access that contributes to a very real Digital Divide. Whether or not it is intentional, the book conveys a sense of drama."—W. Joe Watson, Baker University, in Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 52 (1), 2008.

"That the internet is having a profound effect on politics has become a commonplace in academia; now, with Internet Politics, Andrew Chadwick has provided us with an… authoritative establishing statement for this emerging sub-discipline of politics."—Professor Christopher May, Lancaster University, in Political Studies Review 6 (2), 2008.

"Chadwick has successfully produced a book that offers diverse perspectives on the political nature of the internet. A significant strength of this book is that it has opened the door for those interested in the political internet beyond the familiar and well-trod terrain of elections and participation… Chadwick reminds us that the internet is not a neutral medium, but is political in its very nature… this book will serve researchers well."—Paul Zube, Michigan State University in New Media and Society 9 (5), p. 881-888.

"The distinctive feature of Internet Politics is its extensive use of the professional literature to frame its examinations of societal, technological, organizational, and international topics. Its nuanced and sophisticated treatment of the literature will make the book a valuable reference for those engaged in investigations of specific internet subjects. Chadwick is particularly successful in reviewing the disparate work of others while still pushing ahead to develop his own insights and perspectives."—Professor Richard Lehne, Rutgers University (in Step Ahead: Newsletter of the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Section of APSA4 (1), 2006.

Links and Further Information

— Booksite and blog, which ran from 2005 to 2009 and contains hundreds of blog posts organized thematically by chapter. Also features some raw data archives on the global digital divide, concentration in the media sector, and U.S. campaign contributions, as well as some "deleted scenes"—case studies that didn’t make the final cut of the book—and a Furl archive of links.
— Winner of the American Sociological Association Best Book Award (Communication and Information Technologies Section), 2007.

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