Social networks and political actors: what political communication today?

The progressive integration of electronic social networks by political leaders and parties to their repertoires requires scholars to revisit the traditional investigations of political communication. The appropriation by the political sphere of digital technologies and the reconfiguration of political behavior and habits to the Internet age have led to new research and renewed questioning, with the idea of identifying the contours of a possible or potential “electronic democracy”.

The conference will particularly look into the specific use of electronic social networks like Twitter, Facebook, etc., by institutional political forces (parties, leaders, elected officials …). The overall challenge is to understand what is changing because of the so-called “Web 2.0” apparatus. Is it adopted by politician personnel as a plain additional tool among the range of what constitutes the political Internet, or are we facing a new transformation of political communication, due to the specificities of these new devices and to their mass appeal, particularly among the younger audience?

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