May internet transform political apathy into civic action?

Boshnakova, Dessislava (2012) May internet transform political apathy into civic action? Working Paper. New Bulgarian University Scholar Electronic Repository. (Unpublished)

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Politics has adopted all the tools of modern merchandising - advertising, polling, telemarketing, demographic targeting etc. The marketing revolution poses profound questions about politics and democracy. One paradox is that as politics became marketing, people treated it that way. Voters became more dismissive and ignored traditional way of communication. Candidates and parties have to advertise more for the same effect. There's a constant quest to find new ways to reach voters.
And here comes the Internet. Internet's power to reach the masses and educate them about political realities and issues put the Internet at the cutting edge of campaignings. The online political marketing has demonstrated the first attempts and no campaign will be effective without online presences. If we look at the last elections we can’t say that there have been no online campaign innovations; there have been a few, as one would expect when a new medium makes its first major appearance in an election. The great promise of the Internet has long resided in its capacity to invigorate democracy by opening up the political communication process to the voices of the many rather than the few. The tedium of endless professional commentaries, staged interviews, mediated pseudo-events, banal soundbites and virtual deliberation (where the elite speaks for the silent, passive onlookers) has led to massive alienation and disenchantment. Political junkies thrive on the incestuous, dated drama of 'current affairs' , while the majority with lives watch 'reality TV' and wait for policy debate that resonates with their experience. The inherent interactivity of the Internet promised to open the political conversation to voices that had never been heard before - people talking to each other, to those who want to represent them and to representative institutions. Engagement, inclusion, public deliberation and civic reconnection are the e-democratic opportunities presented by the digital technologies. In many countries the debates for e-voting is taking part. Soon that will be a reality.
Democracy is about discussion. Mature and healthy representative democracy calls for openness and connectivity between representatives and represented which can be facilitated by the interactivity of the net.

Item Type:Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Democracy, Internet, e-voting, apathy, e-generation, Public relations, new media
Subjects:Political sciences > Civil and political rights
ID Code:1423
Deposited By: Dessislava Boshnakova
Deposited On:01 Oct 2012 12:50
Last Modified:01 Oct 2012 12:50

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