Conclusion: The Development of Digital Democracy in East Asia
As a conclusion of this book, this chapter revisits the relationship between the Internet and elections. The Internet election has been evolving in somewhat different ways not only across the Pacific but also among East Asian democracies. Most notably, the degree of “Americanization” of elections is quite different among Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. This is because the Internet’s role in campaigns is influenced by contextual factors that define a country’s electoral environment. Contextual factors, especially the regulatory environment for technology and campaign finance, substantially influence the electoral process in East Asia and the United States. We also find that trends established in the era of mass media election have intensified with the rise of the Internet and digital media. Although American elections are candidate centered, parties in the United States have taken on new roles in online campaigns.
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