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Internet Use and Democratic Demands: A Multinational, Multilevel Model of Internet Use and Citizen Attitudes about Democracy – Journalist's Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center

Posted date: 
Sun, 04/15/2012
Source of the information: 
Jounalist's Resource

The global relationship between the Internet and democracy has become a subject of great scholarly interest and debate. Prior research has focused on national Internet penetration and use rates and changes in the way governance works and how public institutions operate.

A 2012 study from Ohio State University and the University of Washington published in the Journal of Communication, “Internet Use and Democratic Demands: A Multinational, Multilevel Model of Internet Use and Citizen Attitudes about Democracy,” looks at this issue from the perspective of individual preferences and behaviors. The study analyzes survey data from nearly 38,000 people living in 28 African and Asian countries during the period 2006-2008. The researchers also examine Internet penetration trends, noting: “The number of Internet users in sub-Saharan Africa quadrupled between 2005 and 2009, an annual growth rate of 45%, with the total number of users (about 69 million) now larger than found in all Arab states combined, for example. In Asia, the number of Internet users more than doubled during the same 5-year period at annual rate of 21%.” The study also uses Freedom House’s democracy ratings to assess countries’ internal patterns.

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