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 Andrea Römmele, "Political Parties, Party Communication and New Information and Communication Technologies," Party Politics, 9 (January 2003), 7-20.

First Paragraph:
In modern mass democracies it is political parties that connect government and the governed with one another: 'Citizens in modern democracies are represented through and by parties' (Sartori, 1976: 24), which means that communication occurs through political parties and comes from them. Sarcinelli (1998: 277) ascribes a 'communicative hinge function' to parties in the democratic process; they perform a reciprocal middleman service in the communication between state agencies and citizens, in both the process of opinion formation and the process of interest mediation. 'Parties can best be conceived as means of communication' (Sartori, 1976: 28). This connecting function is also made clear in the party literature (Key, 1961; Lawson, 1980; Sartori, 1976).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Party goals and new ICTs

Last Paragraph:
This article has sought to present a theoretical exposition of the ways in which parties can be expected to use the new communication tools. The central point of the exercise has been to show that parties will have different approaches to using new ICTs based largely on their primary goal orientation. Empirical studies are obviously needed to establish just how far party implementation of these tools follows the anticipated path. [This is the first paragraph of the conclusion.]