ABSTRACT

This volume of research, drawn from presentations at a wonderful conference at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, serves the important function of taking us beyond traditional narratives about the roles of online media and social networking sites (SNS) in political communication that either singularly champion their emancipatory power or denounce their erosion and trivialization of off-line politics and citizen engagement. Instead, the studies, spanning a broad range of national political situations, force us to adopt a more sober view about the uses and power of the Internet and social media. They are valuable contributions to the field of study because they ‘de-centre’ the technologies, requiring us to ground our appraisals of social media in the contexts of pre-existing media environments, the machinations of the political field, and also the existing dynamics of everyday life and forms of political engagement by citizens.