You’ve Got (No) Mail: How Parties and Candidates Respond to E-mail Inquiries in Western Democracies

Cristian Vaccari

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Although e-mail is one of the most popular components of users’ experiences of the Internet, its use by political actors in campaigns has rarely been studied. In this article, I explore political actors’ responsiveness to e-mails coming from citizens through a large-scale, longitudinal study of 194 parties and candidates in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States between 2007 and 2013. In order to assess political actors’ e-mail responsiveness, two fictitious e-mails were sent to each of them: one requesting issue information, the other pledging to be willing to volunteer. Results show that most parties and candidates fail to respond to both types of e-mails, and that progressive parties tend to respond more than conservative ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Information Technology and Politics
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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