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.