• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Parties and Interest Groups: Organizing, Lobbying, and Electioneering in Cyberspace
Parties and interest groups: Organizing, lobbying, and electioneering in cyberspace

The Internet provides a new medium for political interactions. As discussed in Chapter 1, optimists have hoped that communication via the Net will create a demand for more choices in politics. After all, computer-mediated communication (CMC) greatly reduces the organizational costs of building coalitions. The politically engaged can use email, bulletin boards, Usenet groups, listserv mailing lists, gopher sites, and the WWW to form new political groups. Democratic participation in politics, whether an adversarial contest among competing interests, a unitary process for building consensus, or some combination of the two, could spread from cyberspace to the real world. The United States could see a flowering of ...

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