The Internet and Political Organizations: Force, Tool, or Wildcard?

dc.contributor.advisorWilson, Ernest Jen_US
dc.contributor.authorWedig, Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.departmentGovernment and Politicsen_US
dc.contributor.publisherDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.contributor.publisherUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.description.abstractThe effect of Internet usage on political organizations is largely assumed in the literature, which limits our understanding of the topic. Three dominant perspectives have developed, viewing technology alternately as a Force that transforms organizations (Techno-determinist), a Tool that organizations can utilize (Situationalist), or as a Wildcard that will have unpredictable effects even on similar organizations (Techno-skeptic). This dissertation examines each of these perspectives in detail and tests their predictive elements against case studies of four political organizations: the Dean for America campaign,, and the Green and Reform Parties. Cases were chosen due to their innovative usage of the Internet, their outsider status, their status as contemporaries, and being active at the national level of American politics. The results demonstrate that while each perspective provides some insight, they are individually inadequate to explain the subject in its entirety and, therefore, a new approach to the topic is necessary. Suggestions for future research and steps to construct a new, more complete, model are presented along with recommendations for the application of these findings by political organizations.en_US
dc.format.extent1015016 bytes
dc.subject.pqcontrolledPolitical Science, Generalen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledInternet politicsen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledpolitical campaignsen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledonline politicsen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledpolitical partiesen_US
dc.titleThe Internet and Political Organizations: Force, Tool, or Wildcard?en_US


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