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Information and American Democracy


  • 4 b/w illus. 8 tables
  • Page extent: 286 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.59 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 320.973
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: JK468.A8 B56 2003
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Information society--Political aspects--United States
    • Information technology--Political aspects--United States
    • Internet--Political aspects--United States
    • Political participation--United States--Computer network resources
    • Democracy--United States

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521800679 | ISBN-10: 0521800676)

This book assesses the consequences of new information technologies for American democracy in a way that is theoretical and also historically grounded. The author argues that new technologies have produced the fourth in a series of 'information revolutions' in the US, stretching back to the founding. Each of these, he argues, led to important structural changes in politics. After re-interpreting historical American political development from the perspective of evolving characteristics of information and political communications, the author evaluates effects of the Internet and related new media. The analysis shows that the use of new technologies is contributing to 'post-bureaucratic' political organization and fundamental changes in the structure of political interests. The author's conclusions tie together scholarship on parties, interest groups, bureaucracy, collective action, and political behavior with new theory and evidence about politics in the information age.

• The author is a leading scholar on this topic • The study uses multiple methods - a combination of qualitative case studies and survey analysis • The book provides historical context and theoretical framework for understanding the Internet and changing politics


1. Information and political change; 2. Information revolutions in American political development; 3. The fourth information revolution and post-bureaucratic pluralism; 4. Political organizations in the fourth information revolution; 5. Political individuals in the fourth information revolution; 6. Information, equality, and integration in the public sphere.

Prize Winner

Don K. Price Award - Winner


'A fascinating and timely analysis … this is a cutting edge book that should be read by all interested in the evolution of policy-making.' The Scientific and Medical Network

'Bruce Bimber's book is very much a product of the new, post-dotcom, sobriety, but rather than simply write a backlash work that rubbishes any idea of transformation, he has managed to combine insights from US media history, political communication, public administration and democratic theory to produce a genuinely novel interpretation of the role played by what he terms the 'information infrastructure' in bringing about political change … a highly original and provocative interpretation of the past, present and likely future of American politics … should inspire political scientists of all kinds.' Public Administration

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