Czech Politicians Go Online: Is this e-Democracy or Just a Campaign Move?
|Year of publication||2015|
|Type||Chapter of a book|
|MU Faculty or unit|
|Description||The last few years have witnessed an intensified academic debate on the potential of new media in politics in the Czech Republic. However, discussions on new media’s impact -- democratic potential, mobilization of the electorate, dialogue between citizens and politicians etc. -- tend to involve political parties rather than politicians as individual users. This chapter is mostly based on data analyzing the individual use of new media (and, specifically, social networking sites) by politicians. The aim of the chapter is to provide an insight into research that we conducted in 2012-14 on how Czech political actors used new media in four different elections. We believe that it is crucial to ask not only whether politicians have already taken up new media but also how they use it. We need to ask whether political communication changes substantially as a consequence of the adoption of new media. Our data suggest that a regular online politician–citizen dialogue is marginal. It appears as though contemporary politicians perceive new media merely as a useful tool for campaigning rather than effective communication with citizens.|