New Media and Fat Democracy: The Paradox of Online Participation

Davis, Aeron. 2010. New Media and Fat Democracy: The Paradox of Online Participation. New Media & Society, 12(5), pp. 745-761. ISSN 1461-4448 [Article]

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This piece speculates on the internet’s wider influences on the shape of institutional politics in representative ‘actually existing democracies’. Findings, based on 100 semi-structured interviews with political actors (politicians, journalists and officials) operating around the UK Parliament, suggest two contrasting trends. On the one hand, more political actors at the immediate edges of the UK institutional political process are being further engaged in a sort of centrifugal movement going outwards from the centre. At the same time, the space between this extended political centre and its public periphery is increasing. This fatter, democratic elitist shift in UK politics may be interpreted as ‘new’ and ICT-driven. It might equally be argued that new media is exacerbating pre-existing political party and media trends in mature democracies which fail to engage ordinary citizens.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Research Office > REF2014
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre



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Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2011 12:29

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2019 12:20

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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