Online Mobilization in Comparative Perspective: Digital Appeals and Political Engagement in Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom

Cristian Vaccari

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This study analyses the relationship between online voter mobilization and political engagement in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom during the 2014 European election campaign. Internet surveys of samples representatives of these countries’ populations with internet access show that respondents who received an invitation to vote for a party or candidate via email or social media engaged in a significantly higher number of political activities than those who did not. Moreover, these relationships were stronger among those who followed the campaign less attentively, as well as in countries where overall levels of engagement with the campaign were lower (Germany and the UK) than where they were higher (Italy). These findings indicate that online mobilization may contribute to closing gaps in political engagement at both individual and aggregate levels, and thus suggest that digital media may contribute to reviving democratic citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-88
Number of pages20
JournalPolitical Communication
Issue number1
Early online date25 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Oct 2016


  • online mobilization
  • social media
  • political engagement
  • comparative research
  • european elections

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