Political organisations and online mobilisation: Different media - Same outcomes?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The low turnout at the 2001 general election heightened concerns about the state of representative democracy and political participation in the UK. Increasingly, the Internet and other Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have been seen as offering a possible means of reinvigorating political organisations and institutions in the UK. Enthusiasts have suggested that such technologies can help re-engaging citizens into the political process and allow organisations, such as parties, to mobilise the public more easily. Using website content analysis and interviews, this paper investigates some these claims by examining the online participatory activities of a range of political organisations including: parties, trade unions, pressure groups and protest networks. On the basis of our evidence, we argue that the web is more an informational than participatory tool and that so far many political organisations have been slow to exploit its interactive possibilities. However, whilst it easy to be critical of their activities, there remains significant technological and political barriers which hinder the use of ICTs for political mobilisation.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-107
Number of pages18
JournalNew Review of Information Networking
Publication statusPublished - 2002