Informing, Engaging, Mobilizing or Interacting: Searching for a European model of web campaigning

This source preferred by Darren Lilleker

Authors: Lilleker, D., Koc Michalska, K., Schweitzer, E., Jacunski, M., Jackson, N. and Vedel, T.

Journal: European Journal of Communication

Volume: 26

Pages: 195-213

ISSN: 0267-3231

DOI: 10.1177/0267323111416182

This study presents data from content analyses of the websites of all parties that stood in the 2009 European parliamentary elections in France, Germany, Great Britain and Poland. It cross-nationally examines the main functions of the websites, the adoption of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 features, and the political and cultural factors that determine parties’ online communication. The findings show that while the main website function varies across countries, Web 1.0 is still the dominant mode of campaigning. Moreover, offline inequalities within and between nations determine differences in parties’ individual online strategies: specifically, major parties in states with long histories of democracy and EU membership lead the way and offer more interactive and innovative modes of campaigning. On the other hand, minor parties, particularly in Poland, remain in a more Web 1.0, information-heavy mode of communication. This supports the so-called normalization thesis on both the meso and the macro level.

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