The Issue Network as a Deliberative Space: A Case Study of the Danish Asylum Issue on the Internet
CEU Political Science Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2012, 1-31
31 Pages Posted: 4 May 2012
Date Written: 2012
Through an analysis of the Danish asylum issue network on the Internet, this article discusses the possibilities of the online sphere as a deliberative space, where politics is happening. By assessing the hyperlink structure of the issue network and a subsequent content analysis of the claims presented by the various actors on the issue the study finds that even though the network contains the overall structures for a functioning deliberative space, the actual deliberation occurring between the actors is very limited. The issue network approach in this case study is seen to be a good way to identify relevant political issues online, but it does not manage to bring together the various antagonistic actors in one deliberative space online. In a triangulation of the results from the two separate analyses, the study further finds evidence, which suggests that the relationship between hyperlinks and deliberative activity is not as definitive as it is often assumed in network analysis.
Keywords: issue network, online, deliberative space, hyperlink, claims
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