Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Retooling Politics
How Digital Media Are Shaping Democracy

$39.99 (G)

  • Date Published: July 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108419406

$ 39.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Donald Trump, the Arab Spring, Brexit: digital media have provided political actors and citizens with new tools to engage in politics. These tools are now routinely used by activists, candidates, non-governmental organizations, and parties to inform, mobilize, and persuade people. But what are the effects of this retooling of politics? Do digital media empower the powerless or are they breaking democracy? Have these new tools and practices fundamentally changed politics or is their impact just a matter of degree? This clear-eyed guide steps back from hyperbolic hopes and fears to offer a balanced account of what aspects of politics are being shaped by digital media and what remains unchanged. The authors discuss data-driven politics, the flow and reach of political information, the effects of communication interventions through digital tools, their use by citizens in coordinating political action, and what their impact is on political organizations and on democracy at large.

    • Detailed examples - including the Arab Spring, Barack Obama, Brexit, Cambridge Analytica, and Donald Trump - illustrate the uses and effects of digital media
    • Takes a broad, interdisciplinary view, examining long-term trends as well as recent events
    • Uses a consistent interpretative framework to analyze the impact of digital media in politics
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'In this provocative, fresh account of the power of digital media in politics, the authors bundle insights from various fields to provide an accessible account of the many ways digital media are shaping contemporary politics. This timely and welcome book will be highly useful for anyone seeking to understand this complex and evolving issue.' Kenneth Benoit, London School of Economics and Political Science

    'Retooling Politics offers a fresh and nuanced ‘needs-based’ framework for analyzing the effects of digital media on political life. This is a necessary book that cuts through hyperbole in its grounded, procedural analysis of what has actually changed in politics, from how organizations pursue their ends to the voices that count in public life.' Daniel Kreiss, UNC Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life

    'This book gives a nuanced analysis of digital media in politics, focusing on political actors’ needs, flows and costs of information, and connections to publics. The authors offer readers a careful and systematic approach to the big question of whether digital media strengthen or undermine democracy.' Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara

    'Jungherr, Rivero and Gayo-Avello’s Retooling Politics is simply exquisite. By all means this book represents one of the finest accounts I have come across to explain why and how digital media is the largest and most profound transformative power in today’s democracy. With a comprehensive, meticulous, and sharp use of the most current and influential literature in the social sciences, the authors build a brilliant and multi-disciplinary argument that will guide readers to better grasp how digital media has transformed our political realm.' Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna

    'The effects of digital media on politics and democracy are far-reaching, diverse, quickly evolving, and difficult to grasp. Retooling Politics is an essential resource for anyone trying to make sense of the connection between digital media and politics - and to understand what we actually know about it.' Fabrizio Gilardi, University of Zurich

    'All over the world, old political goals are pursued with new political tools. Retooling Politics’ needs-based approach presents a nuanced new way of thinking about the impact not on specific political outcomes, or on the basic goals of political actors, but on the practical and institutional process of politics. Thus, this book will help combat the catchy but simplistic narratives advanced by digital cheerleaders and doom-mongers and contribute to more realistic and evidence-based alternatives.' Rasmus Nielsen, University of Oxford

    'Retooling Politics is simply the best book I have read on politics in the digital age. The authors show how political actors use legacy media, digital platforms, and data driven strategies to change how public information is produced, distributed, received, evaluated and used. This book updates the entire field with a timely focus on contemporary problems of democracy. It is destined to become a classic.' W. Lance Bennett, University of Washington

    'This book offers a fresh and comprehensive perspective on the needs that digital media fulfill in the context of democratic politics. The wide-ranging analysis explores the needs that digital media provides for political organizations, for the spread of information, and for enabling collective action in the broadest sense.' Jennifer Stromer-Galley, Syracuse University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108419406
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The rise of digital media and the retooling of politics
    2. The flow of political information
    3. Reaching people
    4. The effects of political information
    5. Digital media and collective action
    6. Changing organizations
    7. Data in politics
    8. Digital media and democracy
    9. Digital media in politics.

  • Authors

    Andreas Jungherr, Universität Konstanz, Germany
    Andreas Jungherr is Assistant Professor in Political Science at the University of Konstanz. His research addresses strategic adaptation to digital technology by organizations, political actors, and citizens in international comparison; he also focuses on harnessing the potential of computational social science. He is author of the books Analyzing Political Communication with Digital Trace Data and Das Internet in Wahlkämpfen (with Harald Schoen).

    Gonzalo Rivero, Westat, Rockville, Maryland, USA
    Gonzalo Rivero is a research data scientist at the Statistics and Evaluation Sciences Unit at Westat. His research focuses on political representation, electoral behavior, and quantitative methods for public opinion research.

    Daniel Gayo-Avello, Universidad de Oviedo, Spain
    Daniel Gayo-Avello is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science in the University of Oviedo. His main area of interest is Web Mining with a focus on social media. He has published in venues such as Communications of the ACM, IEEE Internet Computing, and IEEE Multimedia. He co-edited a special issue of Internet Research on the predictive power of social media, and contributed a chapter on Political Opinion to the book Twitter: A Digital Socioscope.

Related Books

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.