DECADES of concern over a rise in political apathy and citizen disengagement from politics and public affairs has led to many initiatives in developed nations to foster higher levels of civic engagement and political participation. Over these decades, the promise of new information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as interactive cable communications and multimedia personal computers, has generated optimistic expectations of a more politically engaged public. The few empirical studies conducted in these early years tended to dash these hopes, finding major technological limitations, particularly due to the limited access to new ICTs.1 However, since the mid-1990s, the widespread diffusion of the Internet, along with an accumulating set of highly publicised Internet-enabled events, from Web-orchestrated protests at the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO)...

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