The real impact of the Internet on American politics isn’t limited to “clicktivism.” In this book, Dave Karpf presents evidence that changes to the very nature of organizational membership and fundraising are resulting in a generation shift among American advocacy groups. New “netroots” organizations have risen to prominence. Longstanding organizations are struggling to adapt to the new media environment. Rather than “organizing without organizations,” the internet has given rise to “organizing through different organizations.”
The MoveOn Effect provides a richly detailed analysis of this disruptive transformation. It highlights major new advocacy groups — MoveOn.org, DailyKos.com, DemocracyforAmerica.com, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee — that are driving progressive political advocacy today. Through interviews, content analysis, and direct observation, the book offers the first thorough explanation of how these new organizations differ from their older peers. The book also addresses the distinctly partisan character of these netroots organizations, offering an explanation for why conservative advocacy professionals have been unable to build equivalent online organizations.
Written by a political scientist who is also a longtime political organizer, The MoveOn Effect offers a widely-accessible account of the Internet’s impact on American politics. Operating at the intersection of practitioner and academic knowledge-traditions, Karpf provides a reassessment of many longstanding claims about new media and citizen political engagement.