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Mapping Research Methodology in Online Political Communication

Mapping Research Methodology in Online Political Communication
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Author(s): Rosanna De Rosa (University of Naples, Federico II, Italy), Valentina Reda (University of Naples, Federico II, Italy) and Tommaso Ederoclite (University of Naples, Federico II, Italy)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 18
Source title: Political Campaigning in the Information Age
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ashu M. G. Solo (Maverick Technologies America Inc., USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6062-5.ch020

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Abstract

The Web and the Internet in general, initially conceived as research tools, have now become a proper research subject. As has been the case for the press, the radio, and the television, Social Sciences have developed a specific interest in the effects of digital media. These themes are tackled in think tanks' reports and media studies such as consultancy and communication agencies, which are interested in defining how to use the Web as a tool for specific needs. In this context, political communication has a special interest in the Web, as a particular public space in which political actors can convey specific messages and/or act strategically for electoral purposes. As politics has consolidated its recourse to Web-based strategies, the research is aimed at understanding whether and in what direction the Web is able to change electoral choices, influence the electoral process, and contribute to selecting the leadership. However, given their relatively recent development, Internet studies have not yet consolidated shared conceptual and methodological instruments. Moreover—as recently claimed by Helen Margetts (2010)—“Political scientists have devoted rather less attention to online political activity.” This chapter is aimed at mapping the political science production in e-politics during the last ten years—starting from ISI journals—to understand if and how e-politics has been studied, and which approach and/or methodology was used, thus focusing on the empirical results and the centrality reserved to the Web research by Political Science.

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