Internet and Political Participation

Internet and Political Participation : Traditional Question, New Research Designs and Data

panel attached to the section S32 "Internet and Politics: From Local to Global Politics" endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on Internet and Politics

ECPR General Conference Prague 7-10 september 2016


Pr. Jean-Gabriel Contamin (University of Lille), Pr. Olivier Paye (Université Saint-Louis), Pr. Jean-Benoît Pilet (Université Libre de Bruxelles)


Studies on offline political participation have for a long time demonstrated a deep participatory divide between those participating a lot – a minority – and a vast majority of citizens taking part to very few political activities. According to some cyberenthusiasts, the internet would have lowered the threshold of participation and allowed new citizens to participate in political life. However, some recent studies have shown contradictory results : while some explains that on-line participation would be mostly done by individuals already involved off-line (Nielsen, 2006), others tend to show the political inclusion of new types of citizens in new ways (Hirzalla, Zoonen & van de Ridder, 2011).

The multiplication, the diversification and the development of new modes of online political participation as the provision of new large big data for research can be used to ask this traditional question again. This panel invites thus papers that would study the factors that appear to differentiate citizens in their relation to offline and online participation with innovative research designs and data. Analyses may look at a wide variety of forms of e-participation such as e-petitions, e-protests, mobilisations on social media as well as online political forums. Empirical and theoretically based papers are welcome.


Scholars interested in taking part in the panel should send the title (20 words max) and abstract (500 words max) of their paper proposals to Jean-Gabriel Contamin (, Olivier Paye ( and Jean-Benoît Pilet ( by February 14.

Please indicate the email address registered in your MyECPR account, as we need it for the final registration.

This panel will be part of the Internet and Politics: From Local to Global Politics section of ECPR General Conference 2016 in Prague, 7 - 10 September 2016.