This paper has been published as: Rosa Borge and Ana S. Cardenal (2011) Surfing the Net: A Pathway to Participation for the Politically Uninterested? Policy and Internet 3 (1).
Cardenal, A.S., Internet Interdisciplinary Institute IN3, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona
Borge, R., Internet Interdisciplinary Institute IN3, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona
In this article, we aim to investigate the relationship that exists between use of the Internet, motivation and political participation. In particular, we want to find out if use of the Internet, by reducing participation costs, changes the importance given to motivation in the classic explanations of participation. In order to examine this issue, we have used data from survey 2736 of the Spanish Sociological Research Centre (CIS) which deals with political participation and the uses of the Internet. We find that the use of Internet has a direct effect on participation independently of motivation and that in order to participate at least in one activity online the frequent and skilful internet users do not need to be motivated or interested in politics.