Online electoral competition in different settings: A comparative meta-analysis of the research on party websites and online electoral competition

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    Abstract

    This article takes a close look at two important theories concerning the effects that online party campaigning has on party competition. The equalization and normalization theories are tested for systematic logical dependence on conditions present in existing studies within the research field. The conditions are country-specific contextual settings and study-specific methodology. The method of qualitative comparative analysis is used, such that variable based reasoning can be applied in the low n case study. The main result of the analysis is that findings of normalization are mostly dependent on offline conditions - electoral settings in particular - being favourable to major parties. Concerning findings of equalization, an online media environment favourable to minor parties, compared to the offline environment proved important. Through a meta-analytical approach, the article brings important information to light on how scholarly interpretations of the two theories have been constructed.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)223–244
    Number of pages22
    JournalParty Politics
    Volume14
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • electoral competition
    • equalization
    • normalization
    • party websites
    • qualitative comparative analysis

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