Table of Contents

Handbook of Digital Politics

Handbook of Digital Politics

Edited by Stephen Coleman and Deen Freelon

It would be difficult to imagine how a development as world-changing as the emergence of the Internet could have taken place without having some impact upon the ways in which politics is expressed, conducted, depicted and reflected upon. The Handbook of Digital Politics explores this impact in a series of chapters written by some of the world's leading Internet researchers. This volume is a must-read for students, researchers and practitioners interested in the changing landscape of political communication.

Chapter 1: Introduction: conceptualizing digital politics

Stephen Coleman and Deen Freelon

Subjects: innovation and technology, innovation policy, technology and ict, politics and public policy, public choice

Extract

Power is ubiquitous. People have power over us. We resist power. We exercise power. We complain about the relations of power in which we find ourselves caught up. We collude with power, as if it were a natural force. We stand up to power. We surrender to power. We feel powerful. We feel impotent. Even those who claim to be non-political are engaging in these relationships and experiencing these feelings on a regular basis. Politics is the organizing dimension of power. It is the language we use for naming and talking about power; the rules we observe in exercising and submitting to power; the sighs, gestures and half-formed sentences we give off in our daily encounters with the structures and routines of power. Politics is not just about what governments do or politicians say. Sometimes the political is deeply embedded in constitutional and institutional protocols; at other times it simmers under the surface, shaping and affecting relations, while co-existing with other cultural dynamics. It would be difficult to imagine how a development as world-changing as the emergence of the Internet could have taken place without having some impact upon the ways in which politics is expressed, conducted, depicted and reflected upon. It is one thing to say that politics is affected by digital communication. It is quite another thing to say that digital communication fundamentally reshapes politics.