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Information and American Democracy

Information and American Democracy
Technology in the Evolution of Political Power


Award Winner

Part of Communication, Society and Politics

  • Author: Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Date Published: May 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521804929

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About the Authors
  • This book assesses the consequences of new information technologies for American democracy in a way that is theoretical and also historically grounded. The author argues that new technologies have produced the fourth in a series of 'information revolutions' in the US, stretching back to the founding. Each of these, he argues, led to important structural changes in politics. After re-interpreting historical American political development from the perspective of evolving characteristics of information and political communications, the author evaluates effects of the Internet and related new media. The analysis shows that the use of new technologies is contributing to 'post-bureaucratic' political organization and fundamental changes in the structure of political interests. The author's conclusions tie together scholarship on parties, interest groups, bureaucracy, collective action, and political behavior with new theory and evidence about politics in the information age.

    • The author is a leading scholar on this topic
    • The study uses multiple methods - a combination of qualitative case studies and survey analysis
    • The book provides historical context and theoretical framework for understanding the Internet and changing politics
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    • Winner of the Don K. Price Award of the American Political Science Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A fascinating and timely analysis … this is a cutting edge book that should be read by all interested in the evolution of policy-making.' The Scientific and Medical Network

    'Bruce Bimber's book is very much a product of the new, post-dotcom, sobriety, but rather than simply write a backlash work that rubbishes any idea of transformation, he has managed to combine insights from US media history, political communication, public administration and democratic theory to produce a genuinely novel interpretation of the role played by what he terms the 'information infrastructure' in bringing about political change … a highly original and provocative interpretation of the past, present and likely future of American politics … should inspire political scientists of all kinds.' Public Administration

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521804929
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 153 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Information and political change
    2. Information revolutions in American political development
    3. The fourth information revolution and post-bureaucratic pluralism
    4. Political organizations in the fourth information revolution
    5. Political individuals in the fourth information revolution
    6. Information, equality, and integration in the public sphere.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Internet Society
  • Author

    Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara


    • Winner of the Don K. Price Award of the American Political Science Association

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