Maria Laura Sudulich

University of Amsterdam

 

Abstract: The internet, has been expected to modify the very nature of the political discourse by delivering a democratic surplus. It has frequently been regarded as the medium though which the right balance between participation and representation can be achieved. The vary nature of the medium has generated great levels of interest and debate on what type of political activity could be performed online. This paper studies the heuristics of online participation in Ireland and, by addressing the issue of who participates online, it investigates the type of scenario that can be expected to develop in the near future. Using survey data from the Irish National Election Study 2007, this article offers an insight on the process of gathering politically relevant information online and on whether such an activity may lead to further political engagement. Evidence of quite limited but possibly escalating forms of online engagement is found.