Internet politics: A comparative analysis of U.S. and South Korea presidential campaigns

Noriko Hara, Youngmin Jo


To investigate the role of information and computer technologies (ICTs) in political campaigns, this paper discusses three areas of influence in particular (fundraising, civic participation, and e-mobilization), identifying similarities and differences between the U.S. and South Korea. The result of our analysis shows that the impact of the Internet on the two presidential elections differed in all three areas. The Internet provides ordinary citizens with political resources and opportunities to expand their political participation in a democratic environment. Moreover, Internet-based collective action can lead to political changes, both positive and negative, depending on the interaction pattern between the state and society. While the political implications of ICTs come to the fore, the predominant factor in the recent presidential elections remained traditional representative mechanisms. These results will shed light on social and organizational practices with respect to the potential political utilization of ICTs in two different countries.

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