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The Permanent Campaign

New Media, New Politics

Series:

Greg Elmer, Ganaele Langlois and Fenwick McKelvey

From the social media-based 2008 Obama election campaign to the civic protest and political revolutions of the 2011 Arab Spring, the past few years have been marked by a widespread and complex shift in the political landscape, as the rise of participatory platforms – such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs – have multiplied the venues for political communication and activism.
This book explores the emergence of a permanent campaign – the need for constant readiness – on networked communication platforms, focusing on political moments, crises and elections in Canada, the U.S.A., and Australia. The book chapters investigate the proliferation of new political actors and communicators: political bloggers, advocacy groups, diverse publics, and political party staff as they engage in political maneuvers across participatory platforms. With in-depth analyses of some of the most well-known participatory media today, this book offers a critical assessment of the constant efforts at managing the plurality of voices that characterize contemporary politics.

«‘The Permanent Campaign’ offers an important and provocative new perspective on the changes occurring within politics as it enters the Digital Age. Through a series of innovative analyses of popular online social spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere the authors show how the Web 2.0 environment creates a more networked, transient and ‘moment’- based campaign environment that fundamentally challenges parties’ and candidates’ ability to maintain a coherent, durable and visible presence. The result is a new understanding of the notion of the ‘permanent campaign’ that moves it beyond the standard temporal approach adopted within political science to a more ubiquitous social and spatially embedded concept, in which ‘flux’ itself becomes the new permanence.» (Rachel Gibson, University of Manchester)

«‘The Permanent Campaign’ offers an important and provocative new perspective on the changes occurring within politics as it enters the Digital Age. Through a series of innovative analyses of popular online social spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere the authors show how the Web 2.0 environment creates a more networked, transient and ‘moment’- based campaign environment that fundamentally challenges parties’ and candidates’ ability to maintain a coherent, durable and visible presence. The result is a new understanding of the notion of the ‘permanent campaign’ that moves it beyond the standard temporal approach adopted within political science to a more ubiquitous social and spatially embedded concept, in which ‘flux’ itself becomes the new permanence.» (Rachel Gibson, University of Manchester)