Exploring the theme of the putative transformation of political modernity under the impact of "new" media, this book adopts a questioning approach to the ways in which cultural and technological factors are affecting the temper of political life, and reflects the variety of normative thinking about and empirical research on the changing character of politics in mediatized cultures. New Media and Politics examines: the extent to which commercial populism now dominates electoral and other political discourses; the ways in which the functions of leadership, government and political parties are modified by different forms of both old and new media; the democratic or undemocratic import of such changes; and the ways in which the dominant territorial paradigm of politics is challenged by the space and time devouring capacities of electronic media.

Virtual Hype? The Transformation of Political Parties?

Virtual Hype? The Transformation of Political Parties?

Virtual hype? The transformation of political parties?

New Media and the ‘Crises’ of Democracy

The proposition that the so-called ‘new’ media pose both opportunities and threats for democracy has a relatively long and well-established history (Arterton, 1987; Barber, 1984; Donk and Tops, 1992; Friedland, 1996; Horrocks and Pratchett, 1995; Laudon, 1977; Lowi, 1975; Lyon, 1988). These technologies offer the promise of an information-rich society in which citizens have access to a wide range of materials from a variety of sources. In this scenario every issue is extensively debated amongst the public and policy-makers through interactive media. Participation in the political process is thus greatly increased. However, the same ‘new’ media may also threaten to undermine democracy. They may do this ...

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