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Twenty years of digital media effects on civic and political participation

Faculty Advisor




political participation, survey, time series, digital media

Abstract (summary)

More than 300 studies have been published on the relationship between digital media and engagement in civic and political life. With such a vast body of research, it is difficult to see the big picture of how this relationship has evolved across time and across the globe. This paper offers unique insights into how this relationship manifests across time and space, using a meta-analysis of existing research. This approach enables an analysis of a 20 year period, covering 50 countries and including survey data from more than 300,000 respondents. While the relationship may vary cross-nationally, the major story is the trend data. The trend data show a pattern of small, positive average coefficients turning into substantial, positive coefficients. These larger coefficients may be explained by the diffusion of this technology across the masses and changes in the types of use, particularly the rise of social networking sites and tools for online political participation.

Publication Information

Boulianne, Shelley. 2018. "Twenty Years of Digital Media Effects on Civic and Political Participation." Communication Research, OnlineFirst, pp. 1-20.


Item Type

Article Post-Print




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