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Advocacy in Digital Democracy: Use, Impact and Democratic Consequences

Project description

Advocacy impacts in the digital age

Although digital technology has greatly influenced political campaigning and advocacy during the last ten years, the real effects of online and offline advocacy instruments remain understudied. The EU-funded ADVODID project will provide for the first time affluent correlational and causal evidence on the online and offline impacts of advocacy on citizens and policymakers. The project will improve our understanding of how current advocacy influences its audiences and potentially alters participatory democracy. It will collect data of more than 400 carefully selected advocates and analyse the use, impacts and democratic consequences of digital advocacy strategies by evaluating interactions between advocacy groups, citizens and political representatives in eight countries (Australia, Chile, Denmark, India, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US).

Objective

Digital technology has fundamentally changed the action repertoire of political campaigning and advocacy in the last decade. Despite its fundamental role in contemporary political strategy and potential to affect the quality of democracy, there is still little systematic evidence to assess and compare the real effects of online and offline advocacy tools. ADVODID will implement the first large-scale quantitative project designed to provide rich correlational and causal evidence on the effects of advocacy on citizens and policymakers, in both online and offline settings. It sets out to address - theoretically and empirically - the potentials and challenges for modern democracies that arise from digital advocacy tools. Its novelty lies in analyzing the use, impact and democratic consequences of digital advocacy strategies by assessing interactions of advocacy groups with both citizens and political representatives in a diverse set of eight countries (Australia, Chile, Denmark, India, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US). ADVODID will collect data on the advocacy agenda and strategy use of at least 400 carefully sampled advocates in these countries, and will assess agenda congruence with political and public agendas, and their dynamic development over time. Correlational analyses of different measures of advocacy success will be complemented by field experiments in cooperation with advocates in two countries, to supply causal evidence on how advocacy affects the positions and actions of policymakers and citizens. The project’s rich datasets will be used to assess and refine theories of democratic representation and the role of digital advocacy across different types of policy issues. ADVODID will greatly advance understanding of how modern advocacy impacts its target audiences and potentially changes participatory democracy. Its findings will have interdisciplinary and social relevance and inform ways to strengthen representative democracy in an online age.

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Coordinator

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
Net EU contribution
€ 1 986 922,00
Address
Strand
WC2R 2LS London
United Kingdom

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Region
London Inner London — West Westminster
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (2)