ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

New Parties, ICTs and Members’ Empowerment: A Comparison between Movimento 5 Stelle and Podemos

Cyber Politics
Political Parties
Party Members
Cecilia Biancalana
Université de Lausanne
Cecilia Biancalana
Université de Lausanne
Davide Vittori
Université Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract

Digital technologies have become part of the daily life of parties. Nevertheless, compared to other research perspectives, the impact of the Internet on party organizations is an underdeveloped topic. The aim of the paper is to analyse and compare the use of the Internet for organisational purposes by two new parties, the Italian Movimento 5 Stelle (Five Star Movement), and the Spanish Podemos, and in particular their online participation platform Rousseau and Participa.podemos. The aim of the paper is twofold. In the first place, we want to understand a) to what extent these platforms change party organisations with respect to traditional parties and b) which are the main differences between the two cases. The second research question is related to members’ participation: are these platforms able to counter the overall disangament of membership from political parties and to empower members? The paper will be organised as follows. After having traced the conditions that led to the birth of the two parties and their evolution over time, we will first analyse the role of the Internet in the parties’ organisational structure, the references to the Internet in the party’s statute and rules, and the difference between the use of the Internet at the national and local level. Secondly, we will describe the two platforms and assess their impact on the party's internal organisation. In particular, three issues will be investigated: a) the management of the platform; b) their affordances and c) the quantity and quality of members' participation.