The Internet and Political Transformation: Populism, Community, and Accelerated Pluralism

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Abstract

The swift development of the Internet has inspired two sorts of claims that large-scale transformations in the structure of political influence in the U.S. are under way: the populist claim that the Internet will erode the influence of organized groups and political elites, and the community-building claim that the Internet will cause a restructuring of the nature of community and the foundations of social order. These claims are significant because they address not only the currently fashionable subject of the Internet but also fundamental questions about the causal role of communication in public life. A close evaluation of both claims suggests that the assumptions underlying them are improbable at best. I suggest an alternative model of “accelerated pluralism” in which the Internet contributes to the on-going fragmentation of the present system of interest-based group politics and a shifr toward a more fluid, issue- based group politics with less institutional coherence


Bimber, B. (1998). The Internet and political transformation: Populism, community, and accelerated pluralism. Polity, 31(1), 133-160.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bruce_Bimber/publication/247918441_The_Internet_and_Political_Transformation_Populism_Community_and_Accelerated_Pluralism_Polit/links/5617ea4a08ae6d1730846e00/The-Internet-and-Political-Transformation-Populism-Communit

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