The political campaign is one of the most important organizations in a democracy, and whether issue or candidate specific, it is one of the least understood organizations in contemporary political life. This book is a critical assessment of the role that information technologies have come to play in contemporary campaigns. With evidence from ethnographic immersion, survey data, and social network analysis, Howard examines the evolving act of political campaigning and the changing organization of political campaigns over the last five election cycles, from 1996 to 2004. Over this time, both grassroots and elite political campaigns have gone online, built multimedia strategies, and constructed complex relational databases. The contemporary political campaign adopts digital technologies that improve reach and fundraising, and at the same time adapts their organizational behavior. The new system of producing political culture has immense implications for the meaning of citizenship and the basis of representation.
In The Press
'In this important book, Philip Howard looks at the use of the internet and of digital retrieval systems in contemporary political campaigning … I … am extremely grateful to Howard for writing this excellent book, and I will be recommending it to students and colleagues.' Political Studies Review