A few days back “German Politics” published the iFirst version of my paper “Online campaigning in Germany: The CDU online campaign for the general election 2009 in Germany“. In this paper I describe the attempts of the German conservatives to include Web 2.0 elements in their campaign of 2009. It's a little light on theory but I hope that the rich description in the paper helps the reader in getting a feeling for the present state of Web 2.0 campaigning in Germany. Please let me know what you think.
The paper was first prepared for the MPSA meeting in 2010, which as it turned out I could not attend because of a rather temperamental volcano on Iceland. Early in 2012 I presented another early version of the paper during a workshop organized by Rachel Gibson and Andrea Römmele at the ECPR joint session in Antwerp, Belgium. So this paper has a bit of milage on it but I'm happy that it's finally out.
Here is the abstract:
The German election year 2009 saw the first attempts by political parties to include Web 2.0 services in their online campaigns. The 2009 election therefore offers the opportunity to examine how political parties outside the USA – where online campaigning has become commonplace – choose to use online tools in their campaigns. This paper examines the online campaign of the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) with a special focus on the campaign's use of Web 2.0 services. The different elements of the campaign will be discussed with regard to three basic functions of online campaigning provided by the relevant literature: 1) presence in the online information space; 2) support of the infrastructure of politics; 3) creation of symbols for political support and participation. This paper shows that these functions were all present in the CDU's use of online tools in the campaign of 2009.
Andreas Jungherr. 2012. (Online First). “Online campaigning in Germany: The CDU online campaign for the general election 2009 in Germany.” German Politics.