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 23: Visibility and visualities: ‘ways of seeing’ politics in the digital media environment

Katy Parry

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


This chapter addresses concerns about visibility and visuality in political communication and political culture, with a particular focus on digital media images. I trace the tensions and anxieties associated with the visual and symbolic in politics, and the ways in which emergent technologies are often viewed as disruptive or corrupting influences. The chapter brings together insights from visual culture, political communication and social movement studies to explore our ‘ways of seeing’ politics in the digital era. I suggest that rather than bemoaning the spectacle of mediated politics, detailed attention to the practices and forms of visually striking performances allows us to assess their contribution to political life.

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