Het politiek gebruik van internet naar aanleiding van de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2000

Res Publica 43 (4):507-527 (2001)
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The proliferation of the use of Internet has led to speculations that the interactive possibilities offered by this technology will lead to a democratisation of political communication. It is argued that citizens will enjoy more opportunities to discuss polities with other citizens and to express their opinions toward the political system. In this casestudy, we examine the political use of internet at the time of the Belgian local elections of 8 October 2000. Building on the coding scheme developed by Pippa Norris, we distinguish interactive and institutional communication through the Internet, in which we expect that interactive communication has a democratie potential, while the institutional communication shows atendency to strengthen existing power relations. The data show that during this election campaign the Internet has been used mainlyfor institutional purposes, not for interactive applications. Therefore our conclusion is that, especially in small languageareas, the democratic potential of Internet remains limited.



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