Donatella della Porta, Lorenzo Mosca

Ricercando nella rete: stili democratici dei siti web del movimento per una giustizia globale

  • Abstract

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Notwithstanding a growing interest on online politics in social research, Internet use for making social movements more democratic received little attention. When social movement organizations (SMOs) create their websites, they often underline the amazing capacity to involve members and sympathizers in organizational processes and internal decision-making. However, website design and management implies many choices among different objects being often in reciprocal tension: stressing organizational identity or opening to the outside; increasing transparency or reserving some sections to members; informing users or mobilizing them; widen the debate to people with different opinions or deepen the discussion in homogeneous groups. In this article we focus on how Internet potentialities are implemented in the websites of SMOs considering different indicators of democratic quality. The empirical research was developed on 261 websites of Global Justice Movement organizations in six different European countries and at the transnational level. SMOs (as other kind of organizations) embody democratic conceptions and practices based on different principles such as participation, delegation, deliberation, etc. Diverse democratic conceptions tend to be mirrored in their website and can be explored empirically focusing on a series of dimension such as: information provision, identity building, transparency/accountability, mobilization, and intervention on the digital divide.

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