Political parties, democracy and the new information and communication technologies: theorising the relationships

Löfgren, Karl and Smith, Colin F (1999) Political parties, democracy and the new information and communication technologies: theorising the relationships. Faculty of Business Working Paper Series (21). ISSN 1461-4162

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As a result of the increased public penetration of the Internet and other forms of electronic networks in western liberal democracies there has, for some years now, been a growing academian interest in technologically mediated practices within politics and policy-processes. This interest has been mainly coupled to arrangements embedded in a participatory conception of democracy, whereas classical political intermediators, such as political parties, have been disregarded within research. This article discusses the theoretical triangle between parties, democracy and modern communication technologies, taking, as the point of departure, four ideal ‘strategies’ for parties’ uptake and maintenance of new technology based in both new understandings of the relationship between democracy and modern communication technology, and classical models of parties and party organisations. This theoretical framework argues that the relationship between the three entities is more complex and dispersed than the simple dichotomy between representative and participatory traditions of democracy suggests. And moreover, it argues that the technology per se plays a limited role in most actual cases of political parties.

Keywords Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), Political Parties, Democracy, Strategy, Logics of appropriateness, Mass Party, Cadre Party, Electronic democracy

Item Type: Article
Print ISSN: 1461-4162
Uncontrolled Keywords: Information and communication technologies (ICTs); political parties; democracy; strategy; logics of appropriateness; Mass Party, Cadre Party, Electronic democracy
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 020 Library & information sciences
300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations > 658 General management
Library of Congress Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Item ID: 3569
Depositing User: Computing Research
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2009 12:47
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2010 12:54

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