Online Political Participation in the United States and Spain

Michael Jensen, Eva Anduiza

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction The diffusion and integration of digital media in social and political life are said to be creating new forms of political organization and new opportunities for political participation (Castells 2009). This chapter is a comparative study of how and why people get involved in different offline and online participatory environments in the United States and Spain. Researchers have differentiated forms of participation in digital milieus according to their architectures, which enable more or less participation (Jackson and Lilleker 2009; Chadwick 2009a; Chapter 2). Digital environments contain varied structures for communicative interaction. Although web 1.0 involves a fixed content transmitted from a sender to a receiver, web 2.0 is distinguished by the role the receiver plays in the co-production of content. That is, web 1.0 is characterized by closed architecture (Lessig 2006), whereas web 2.0 is widely regarded as having a participatory architecture (O’Reilly 2007). In addition, researchers have developed theories connecting participation with resources such as experience, time, money, and civic skills (Verba, Schlozman, and Brady 1995). Modes of participation have been further distinguished by the attitudinal factors that motivate certain forms of participation but not others (Dalton 2008; Marsh, O’Toole, and Jones 2007). From a comparative perspective, research indicates the existence of differences in the categories of individuals and of attitudes motivating different forms of participation across systems (Dalton 2008). This chapter seeks to contribute to this line of research by examining the role the political context plays in shaping the forms of participation and the resources and attitudinal motivations behind them. We expect macro-level differences between the United States and Spain in political communication structures to have an impact on micro-level participatory practices in the two countries

Online political participation in the United States and Spain | Request PDF. Available from: [accessed Feb 08 2018].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Media and Political Engagement Worldwide
EditorsEva Anduiza, Michael James Jensen, Laia Jorba
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781139108881
ISBN (Print)9781107668492
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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