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Rachel K. Gibson, Michael Margolis, David Resnick and Stephen J. Ward, "Election Campaigning on the WWW in the USA and UK: A Comparative Analysis," Party Politics, 9 (January 2003), 47-75.

First Paragraph:
The World Wide Web (WWW) is being increasingly used for communication by citizens and governments in most advanced democracies. Systematic study of how traditional political actors are using the Web and in turn are influenced by it, however, has been limited. In this article we seek to address that deficit by providing a comparative analysis of British and American parties' and candidates' election campaigning on theWWW during the Presidential and General Elections of 2000 and 2001, respectively. The central questions investigated are twofold: (1) do parties differ across the two systems in terms of how they use the Web as a campaign tool?; and (2) does the Web promote a more balanced or equalized exposure for party messages than other media? To address these questions we use questionnaire and interview data from political party officials and Web managers, and content analysis of party websites, discussion groups and offline media coverage of the election (Gibson and Ward, 2000e).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Website access
Table 2: Online and offline news coverage of partyes/candidates
Table 3: UK party websites--overall functions
Table 4: UK party websites --style and delivery
Table 5a: US national party websites--overall functions
Table 5b: US national party websites--style and delivery
Table 6a: US national candidate websites--overallfunctions
Table 6b: US national candidate websites--style and delivery
Appendix A: Scoring system: party website survey
Appendix B: US survey procedures

Last Paragraph:
Thus, while Web campaigning may not yet have fully matured, the findings here confirm that it is settling into a rather standardized form. Although it is more than simply another billboard canvas, cyberspace is clearly not jolting traditional political actors into radically different styles of message delivery, nor is it leading to a more egalitarian world of political communication. Rather than providing a springboard for attacking parties and their luddite' ways, however, we argue that these findings point to the need for research in this area to adopt a more contextualized approach to its subject. Instead of expanding on the revolutionary potential of the new media and then criticizing parties and other institutions of representation as failing to realize those ambitions, our theoretical starting point should start with expectations about what 'incremental' change might look like in these instances? In using this more forgiving benchmark, we are arguing for a more internalized' view of party behaviour, but one which we consider ultimately to be more fruitful in assessing the true extent of innovation and experimentation taking place.