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Understanding divergent patterns of political discussion in online forums: evidence from the European Citizens’ Consultations
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5485-8577
2012 (English)In: Journal of Information Technology & Politics, ISSN 1933-1681, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 64-81Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines divergent patterns of political discussion through a comparative analysis of 28 online forums, initiated by the EU-commission as part of the 2009 European Citizens Consultations. These forums shared the same design (technological and process) and had the same connection to the policy process. Still, great divergences were apparent in the intensity of discussion. Some of the forums were characterized by scarce discussion, while in others lively discussions occurred. The aim of this article is to create and understanding of these divergences. A hypothetic deductive approach is first employed, investigating three hypotheses about favourable conditions for political discussion grounded in prior studies and deliberative democratic theory. The results indicate that political discussions are more intense in forums where the level of consensus among participants is low. Thereafter a comparative case study is conducted of two forums, in order to foster a deeper understanding of these results, showing that a high level of consensus was created through intense external mobilization efforts from organized groups. The results of the analyses makes it evident that online political discussion must be studied and understood in relation to a actor-centred perspective investigating participants’ strategies and conduct.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 9, no 1, p. 64-81
Keywords [en]
political discussion, online forums, public deliberation, aggregation of opinions, mobilization
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-20048DOI: 10.1080/19331681.2012.635965OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-20048DiVA, id: diva2:447920
Available from: 2011-10-13 Created: 2011-10-13 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19331681.2012.635965

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Karlsson, Martin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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