Empirical Analysis of Political Spaces on the Internet

  • Calderaro A
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Abstract

The Internet has largely been greeted as a technology able to create new spaces of political debate. In order to investigate the issue, scholars have paid attention to how transnational social movements use new information technologies. This has been done mainly exploring the use of the World Wide Web (WWW). However, new political spaces do not take place just on the WWW, and by consequence, research in this field cannot solely carry out Web analysis to explore the role played by the Internet in creating political debate. In looking at other areas of the Internet to understand the creation of new political space, other analytical approaches need to be adopted. The Internet also includes tools other than the WWW, such as E-Mailing Lists, collaborative on-line software, Peer-to-Peer Networks, Instant Messaging tools, and so forth. This paper explores the role that E-Mailing Lists play in creating new political spaces. To explore if and how this happens, I illustrate this crucial point with an analysis of the use of E-Mailing Lists by social movements. The case I will use is that of the organization of the protest during the G8 Summit held in Genoa in July 2001.

Author-supplied keywords

  • content analysis
  • e-mailing list
  • internet
  • internet politics
  • movements
  • political participation
  • social
  • social networks

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Authors

  • Andrea Calderaro

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