Digital democracy – studies of online political participation

G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Janne Berg
Publisher: Åbo Akademi University Press
Place: Vasa
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-952-12-3641-9
eISBN: 978-952-12-3642-6


The objective of this thesis is to gain knowledge about citizens’ online political participation in contemporary democracies. Some scholars have regarded the internet as a potential remedy to decreasing levels of traditional political participation. This is partly because the internet expands the political participation repertoire for citizens.

On the one hand, entirely new forms of participation, like hacktivism, emerge online. On the other hand, the internet revitalizes older forms of political participation, such as petitioning and political discussion. This thesis concerns how citizens use these latter forms of political participation.

When political participation moves online, it becomes interwoven with a central characteristic of the internet; anonymity. Once a greatly debated topic regarding the secret ballot, online anonymity has now revived a discussion about the effects of anonymity on human behavior, or more specifically, political behavior in terms of online political participation. This thesis sheds light on how citizens use anonymity within the context of e-petitioning and political discussion.


anonymity, e-petitions, online deliberation, online discussion, online politics, online reader comments, political discussion, political participation


Last updated on 2020-28-05 at 05:24