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The weapon of a new generation?—Swedish Civil Society Organizations’ use of social media to influence politics

  • Gabriella Scaramuzzino
  • Roberto Scaramuzzino
Publiceringsår: 2017-02-13
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1-16
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of Information Technology & Politics
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Taylor & Francis

Abstract english

The article examines the extent of and factors behind Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs’) use of social media to influence politics compared with nondigital political strategies, that is, using the traditional media and demonstrations. Taking stock of previous research on information and communication technologies, social media, and political influence, the relevance of four sets of factors is tested: resources, resource dependency, geographic level of activity, and age of the organization. Based on survey data on 907 Swedish CSOs, the results show that social media is used alongside other strategies with no trade-off between them. Furthermore, the use of social media is highly resource-demanding both in terms of membership base and staff employed. Although it is not affected by public resource dependency, it is useful when trying to influence both the local and national level. Younger generations of CSOs are also more likely to make use of social media. The results suggest that the rise of the Internet as a channel for political communication might strengthen an elite of organizations that already has access to other channels for influencing policy. Digital politics might, however, also help bring forth new actors and perhaps new voices in the political debate, as long as they are able to mobilize enough resources.


  • Social Sciences
  • Civil society organisations
  • ICT and politics
  • political communication
  • political influence
  • social media
  • Sweden
  • survey data


  • ISSN: 1933-1681
Roberto Scaramuzzino. Foto: Patrik Hekkala
E-post: roberto [dot] scaramuzzino [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se




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