Changing political communication in Germany : findings from a longitudinal study on the influence of the internet on political information, discussion and the participation of citizens
The internet has been discussed as a major agent of change for political communication and participation. One important dimension of possible effects is the influence of online communication on the participation habits of citizens. In this article, panel survey data from Germany that cover almost the first decade of this century are used in order to test causal hypotheses about this transformation process. The results highlight that new forms of political communication are mainly a complement to existing forms with few substitution effects. Additionally, the data demonstrate the strong role habitualization plays, particularly in the field of political information seeking and traditional forms of political discussion and participation, while online communication is still evolving with yet less fixed patterns of action.