Internet and political empowerment: Towards a taxonomy for online political empowerment

Ali Pirannejad, Marijn Janssen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
130 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In the age of the information revolution, the Internet can be used to involve citizens in political processes and leads to the emergence of the new version of political empowerment. This article analyses the possible effects of the Internet on the political empowerment of citizens. We interviewed 29 citizens of Tehran to learn how the Internet affects their political involvement, and to determine whether it results in their political empowerment. We analysed the interview transcripts using Strauss and Corbin’s open-coding scheme, revealing 44 constructs. These were refined and categorised into two aspects: ‘political awareness’ and ‘political participation’. This taxonomy can be employed to evaluate the use of the Internet for political empowerment and to develop the ways to empower citizens. Six main findings on the effect of factors which contribute to the political empowerment of citizens were developed. The question of which factors are essential for citizen empowerment is likely to be context-specific and is recommended as the topic of future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-95
Number of pages16
JournalInformation Development
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • citizens
  • democracy
  • e-participation
  • Internet
  • Iran
  • narrative inquiry
  • political empowerment

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