Conclusion: The Development of Digital Democracy in East Asia

  • Shoko Kiyohara
  • Kazuhiro Maeshima
  • Diana Owen
Part of the Political Campaigning and Communication book series (PCC)


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.


  1. Allcott, Hunt, and Matthew Gentzkow. 2017. Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election. Journal of Economic Perspectives 31 (2): 211–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bocakowski, Pablo J. 2016. Has Election 2016 Been a Turning Point for the Influence of the News Media. NiemanLab, November 8. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  3. China Post News Staff. 2017. Look Around—We’re in Post-Truth Taiwan. The China Post, January 3. Accessed 8 June 2017.
  4. Epstein, Leon D. 1986. Political Parties in the American Mold. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  5. Fisher, Max. 2017. When a Political Movement Is Populist, or Isn’t. The New York Times, May 10. Accessed 8 June 2017.
  6. Greenwood, Shannon, Andrew Perrin, and Maeve Duggan. 2016. Social Media Update 2016. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
  7. Hendrickson, Clara, and William A. Galston. 2017. Why Are Populists Winning Online? Social Media Reinforces Their Anti-establishment Message. Brookings, April 28. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  8. Howard, Philip N., Samantha Bradshaw, Bence Kollanyi, Clementine Desigaud, and Gillian Bolsover. 2017. Junk News and Bots During the French Presidential Election: What Are French Voters Sharing Over Twitter? COMPROP Data Memo. Oxford: Oxford University.
  9. International Telecommunication Union. 2015. Country ICT Data (Until 2015), Percentage of Individuals Using the Internet, 2000–2015. Accessed 29 Apr 2017.
  10. Internet World Stats. 2016a. Asia Marketing Research, Internet Usage, Population Statistics and Facebook. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
  11. ———. 2016b. Internet Usage Data and Links to Bermuda, Canada, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, and the United States of America. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
  12. Kai, Jin. 2015. Hong Kong and Taiwan: Populism or Democracy? The Diplomat, April 16. Accessed 8 June 2017.
  13. Katsu! (Win! 2014. More Than 70 % of the Candidates Using SNS; What Is the Effect of Internet Election Campaigns? Accessed 14 May 2017 (In Japanese).
  14. ———. 2016. The Data of Use of Internet by Diet Members. Accessed 14 May 2017 (In Japanese).
  15. Kenski, Kate, Bruce W. Hardy, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. 2010. The Obama Victory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kiyohara, Shoko, and Boyu Chen. 2016. Internet Election Campaigns in Japan and Taiwan: A Comparative Institutional Approach. Paper Presented at the APSA Political Communication Preconference, Philadelphia, August 31.Google Scholar
  17. Lee, Hongchun. 2017. Telephone Interview with Shoko Kiyohara. April 30.Google Scholar
  18. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. 2015. White Paper in 2015. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
  19. Owen, Diana. 2009. The Campaign and the Media. In The American Elections of 2008, ed. Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier and Steven E. Schier, 9–32. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. ———. 2017. Tipping the Balance of Power in Elections? Voters’ Engagement in the Digital Campaign. In The Internet and the 2016 Presidential Campaign, ed. Terri Towner and Jody Baumgartner. New York: Lexington Books (in press).Google Scholar
  21. Oxford English Dictionary. 2016. Definition of Post-Truth in English. Oxford Living Dictionaries. Accessed 3 Apr 2017.
  22. Patterson, Thomas E. 1993. Out of Order. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  23. Pew Research Center. 2016a. The Political Environment on Social Media, Research Report. Washington, DC, October 25.Google Scholar
  24. ———. 2016b. Election 2016: Campaigns as a Direct Source of News, Research Report. Washington, DC, July 18.Google Scholar
  25. Price, Tom. 2012. Social Media and Politics. CQ Researcher 22 (36): 867–874. Accessed 24 May 2017.
  26. Statista. 2016a. Penetration of Leading Social Networks in South Korea as of 4th Quarter 2016. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
  27. ———. 2016b. Penetration of Leading Social Networks in Taiwan as of 4th Quarter 2016. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
  28. Stroud, Natalie Jomini. 2011. Niche News: The Politics of News Choice. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shoko Kiyohara
    • 1
  • Kazuhiro Maeshima
    • 2
  • Diana Owen
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Information and CommunicationMeiji UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Global StudiesSophia UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Communication, Culture, and TechnologyGeorgetown UniversityWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations