Dr. Elizabeth Stoycheff, an alumnus of COPS and currently an assistant professor at Wayne State University, has a first-authored article in this month's Political Communication examining the cross-national relationship between Internet penetration, Internet use, and democratic attitudes. The title and abstract (with link to the article) are below. Congrats!
What’s the Bandwidth for Democracy? Deconstructing Internet Penetration and Citizen Attitudes About Governance
Recent world events have highlighted the democratic potential of information and communication technologies. This article draws upon the democracy literature to develop a multilevel conceptual framework that links country-level Internet penetration and individual-level Internet use to citizen attitudes about governance in 34 developing countries. In doing so, it deconstructs “Internet penetration” into three dimensions—hardware (e.g., computers), users, and broadband—to provide greater theoretical specificity about how Internet diffusion leads citizens to adopt democratic attitudes. Results from multilevel analyses indicate that individual Internet use and the diffusion of Internet hardware shape citizens’ perceptions of the supply of democracy in their countries, and individual Internet use and diffusion of broadband lead citizens to adopt stronger democratic preferences. Theoretical and normative implications are discussed.