© 2018

Managing Democracy in the Digital Age

Internet Regulation, Social Media Use, and Online Civic Engagement

  • Julia Schwanholz
  • Todd Graham
  • Peter-Tobias Stoll


  • Analyzes the impact of information technologies on new forms of political communication

  • Illustrates the role of social media in civic engagement and protest

  • Discusses challenges for Internet regulation


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Challenges for Internet Regulation on the Global, EU, and National Level

  3. Political Communication and Social Media: From Politics to Citizens

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Patrick Theiner, Julia Schwanholz, Andreas Busch
      Pages 77-95
    3. Bert Jan Brands, Todd Graham, Marcel Broersma
      Pages 159-178
  4. Online Civic Engagement and the Public Sphere

About this book


In light of the increased utilization of information technologies, such as social media and the ‘Internet of Things,’ this book investigates how this digital transformation process creates new challenges and opportunities for political participation, political election campaigns and political regulation of the Internet. Within the context of Western democracies and China, the contributors analyze these challenges and opportunities from three perspectives: the regulatory state, the political use of social media, and through the lens of the public sphere.

The first part of the book discusses key challenges for Internet regulation, such as data protection and censorship, while the second addresses the use of social media in political communication and political elections. In turn, the third and last part highlights various opportunities offered by digital media for online civic engagement and protest in the public sphere. Drawing on different academic fields, including political science, communication science, and journalism studies, the contributors raise a number of innovative research questions and provide fascinating theoretical and empirical insights into the topic of digital transformation.


Social Media Digital Transformation Electronic Governance Political Communication Public Sphere Election Campaigns Twitter Political Protest Digital Governance E-governance Internet Regulations Internet of Things Liquid Democracy Journalism

Editors and affiliations

  • Julia Schwanholz
    • 1
  • Todd Graham
    • 2
  • Peter-Tobias Stoll
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. for Political ScienceUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.School of Media and CommunicationUniversity of LeedsLeeds, YorkshireUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.International and European LawUniversity of GöttingenGroningenGermany

About the editors

Dr Julia Schwanholz is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science, Georg-August University, Goettingen. She completed her PhD on Parliamentary Powers within the financial market- and economic crisis in comparative perspective in 2014. Her research focus includes political systems, parliaments, digital transformation, and social media.

Todd Graham is a University Academic Fellow in Media and Communication at the School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds. His main research interests are the use of new media in representative democracies, the intersections between popular culture and formal politics, online election campaigns, online deliberation and political talk, and online civic engagement.

Peter-Tobias Stoll holds a chair for public land and international law at the Faculty of Law of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and is one of the directors of the Institute for International Law and European Law.

Bibliographic information