A critical appraisal of forms, features, factors and variables of democratic e-participation with a focus on social media
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:e-Democracy | e-Politics | Politics and Political Science
This paper aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the role and importance of e-participation in the political process. The internet has introduced new ways and forms of political communication and citizen participation in social and political life. In the era of digital democracy, the capabilities of citizens in terms of participating directly in politics have been enriched significantly. Accordingly, the internet and the technologies of Web 2.0 in particular have been invested with increased democratic expectations for the renewal of democratic institutions. However, academic research broaches the democratic potential of social media with reservation and highlights the loose connection between online and offline political participation. In this paper, we explore the variables and factors that influence online political participation, taking into consideration the new communicative codes introduced by social media. The analysis of the paper is based on a literature review performed on recent studies in the field, which reveal a plurality of variables and factors that should be analysed thoroughly and combined for the articulation of valid conclusions in relation to the features and the political characteristics associated with the new forms of political participation. Finally, we aim to proceed to the formulation ofsustainable arguments for the political stake of democratic e-political participation, which continues to be the active involvement of citizens in shaping politics.