Four challenges for the future of digital politics research
chapterposted on 22.05.2020, 09:05 by Andrew ChadwickAndrew Chadwick
Twenty years of research, mostly driven by normatively pro-digital media perspectives that focused on whether online ‘engagement’ was being sufficiently embedded in political or journalistic institutions, has obscured some important questions about the properties of that engagement, and the origins and consequences of digitally shaped attitudes and behaviours more generally. This legacy has made it more difficult for scholars to appreciate some problematic aspects of how digital media uses are reshaping how public opinion is formed and how the civic culture of liberal democracies is evolving. Can we better understand how social media interact with the constraints on rational opinion formation and how far those constraints are shaped by cognitive biases, social identities and social media affordances? And can we intervene to minimize the impact of those constraints and promote liberal democratic norms? Addressing these challenges will equip the field for future research.
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies