Politics as Usual: The Cyberspace “Revolution”
Publication Year: 2000
Examining the effects of the Internet on American politics, this book reveals its potential as a tool for empowering people to challenge existing power structures. However, the authors show how the American political system tends to normalize political activity, and thus the Internet's vast subversive potential could be lost, rendering it just another purveyor of ignored information.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: The Normalization of Cyberspace
- The Great Transformation and beyond
- Three Types of Internet Politics
- Intra-Net Politics
- Politics That Affects the Net
- Political Uses of the Net
- Looking Forward
- Chapter 2: Democracy in Cyberspace: A Brief History
- The Rise of ARPANET
- Expanding and Linking Computer Networks
- From ARPANET to the Internet
- The World Wide Web and the Popularization of Cyberspace
- Political Consequences of Popularization
- Chapter 3: Parties and Interest Groups: Organizing, Lobbying, and Electioneering in Cyberspace
- Political Parties on the Internet
- Candidates on the World Wide Web
- Political Interest Groups on the Web
- The Future of Political Web Sites
- Chapter 4: Elected Officials and Government Bureaucracy in Cyberspace
- Accessing Government via the Internet
- The Executive on the Net
- Legislatures on the Net
- Keeping Government on the Web in Perspective
- Chapter 5: The Internet, Mass Media, and Public Opinion
- The Great Democratic Hope
- Media and Democracy
- News of Public Affairs on the Internet
- Chapter 6: Doing Business on the Web: New Rules and New Taxes?
- Electronic Commerce
- Establishing a Legal Framework for Electronic Commerce
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Protecting Privacy
- Taxing the Internet
- The Bit Tax
- International Politics and Taxation
- Chapter 7: Gambling on the Internet: A Case Study in the Politics of Regulation
- History of Gambling Regulation
- Enforcement in Cyberspace: Within the United States
- Enforcement in Cyberspace: Offshore
- Proposed Federal Legislation
- Chapter 8: Criminal Activity in Cyberspace and What to Do about it
- Crime in Cyberspace
- Network Crime
- Computer Crime
- Chapter 9: Democracy and Cyberspace: A Peek into the Future
- How the Net Will Not Contribute to Democracy
- How the Net Will Contribute to Democracy
- Inequalities in Cyberspace
- The Internet and Hopes for World Peace
- Setting Internet Policy in the Years Ahead
Contemporary American Politics[Page ii]
Richard G. Niemi, University of Rochester
Barbara Sinclair, University of California, Los Angeles
John Aldrich, Duke University
Gregory Caldeira, The Ohio State University
Stanley Feldman, SUNY Stony Brook
Katherine Tate, University of California, Irvine
Sue Thomas, Georgetown University
The Contemporary American Politics series is intended to assist students and faculty in the field of American politics by bridging the gap between advanced but oft-times impenetrable research on the one hand, and oversimplified presentations on the other. The volumes in this series represent the most exciting work in political science—cutting-edge research that focuses on major unresolved questions, contradicts conventional wisdom, or initiates new areas of investigation. Ideal as supplemental texts for undergraduate courses, these volumes will examine the institutions, processes, and policy questions that make up the American political landscape.
Books in This Series
DO CAMPAIGNS MATTER?
Thomas M. Holbrook
GENDER DYNAMICS IN CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS
Richard Logan Fox
THE CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS: Racial Politics in the REU.S. Congress
POLITICAL TOLERANCE: Balancing Community and Diversity
UP THE POLITICAL LADDER: Career Paths in U.S. Politics
Wayne L. Francis & Lawrence W. Kenny
POLITICS AS USUAL: The Cyberspace “Revolution”
Michael Margolis & David Resnick
Copyright © 2000 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Sage Publications, Inc.
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Sage Publications Ltd.
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Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
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Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Politics as usual: The cyberspace “revolution” / by Michael Margolis and David Resnick.
p. cm.—(Contemporary American politics; v. 6)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-7619-1330-0 (cloth: acid-free paper)
ISBN 0-7619-1331-9 (pbk.: acid-free paper)
1. Internet (Computer network)—Political aspects. 2. Internet (Computer network)—Political aspects—United States. 3. Cyberspace—Political aspects. 4. Cyberspace—Political aspects—United States. I. Resnick, David. II. Title. III. Series.
HM851 .M37 2000
303.48′33-dc 21 99-050650
00 01 02 03 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquiring Editor: Peter Labella
Production Editor: Diana E. Axelsen
Editorial Assistant: Cindy Bear
Typesetter: Marion Warren
Cover Designer: Candice Harman
When we began our study of cyberspace in the early 1990s, we hoped that the Internet's communication capabilities, its information sources, virtual communities, newsgroups, and mailing lists would inspire unprecedented levels of active intelligent participation by citizens in politics. We took seriously the claim that cyberspace would initiate a revolutionary change in the way we conduct our democratic politics. Alas, these expectations proved far too optimistic. Over the course of a few short years, the Internet became a mass medium dominated by the World Wide Web, and the Web itself rapidly evolved from a medium for research and information exchange into one dominated by commercial interests.
Far from revolutionizing the conduct of politics and civic affairs in the real world, we found that the Internet tends to reflect and reinforce the patterns of behavior of that world. Politics on the Internet is politics as usual conducted mostly by familiar parties, candidates, interest groups, and news media. Government itself is no longer simply a silent partner, but is coming to play an increasingly important role in shaping the new medium. Moreover, as in the real world, most people who use the Internet have less interest in participating in political and civic affairs online than they have in following sports, [Page viii]seeking entertainment, pursuing hobbies, shopping, or gathering information about a variety of other subjects. While the Internet may still have the potential to greatly enrich our public life, thus far that potential has not been realized.Acknowledgments
We want to thank the Sage Series editor, Dick Niemi, who shepherded this project from inception to completion. His critical comments and suggestions helped us to develop the original proposal, improve the book's organization, discover new material, and clarify our prose. He also provided comments from an anonymous reader on the first complete draft of manuscript, and he coordinated our efforts with those of the editors at Sage.
Peter Labella came up with the title that encapsulated our thesis, and Diana Axelsen handled the final stages of preparation for publication with aplomb.
In winter quarter of 1999, students in the University of Cincinnati's Undergraduate Honors Program who were enrolled in Margolis's seminar on Politics and the Internet provided additional feedback on the first complete draft. We also received research assistance from Larry Gache, Melicent Homan, Chin Chang Tu, Lillian Vasi, Robert Wheeler, and other graduate students in the Department of Political Science.
Our colleagues at the Center for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, George Bishop, Bonnie Fisher and Joel Wolfe, provided helpful suggestions and resources. Our wives, Elaine Camerota and Kathy Resnick, read our drafts with the critical eyes of English teachers and editors. Our special thanks go to Kathy for editing the final draft and preparing the index.
Despite all the contributions of our colleagues, students, relatives and friends, we alone must bear the blame for any mistakes that readers may discover. Then again we happily claim the credit for all the comments and suggestions that we have incorporated into our work. That, dear readers, is also politics as usual.
For Elaine and Kathy[Page x]
About the Authors[Page 246]
Michael Margolis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. He received his A.B. from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He has served on the faculties of the University of Pittsburgh and the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow in Scotland, and as Fulbright Lecturer at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Korea. His publications include Political Stratification and Democracy (1972), Viable Democracy (1979), Manipulating Public Opinion (1989), Machine Politics, Sound Bites and Nostalgia (1993), Free Expression, Public Support, and Censorship (1994), and numerous articles in professional and popular journals.
David Resnick is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati and Director of the Center for the Study of Democratic Citizenship. He received his A.B. from Columbia College (Columbia University) and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Before coming to the University of Cincinnati, he taught in the Department of Government at Cornell University. He has published numerous articles about the history of political theory in addition to his recent scholarly work on cyberspace.