ippps

Leadership without Leaders? Starters and Followers in Collective Action on the Internet

The Internet has been ascribed a prominent role in collective action, particularly with widespread use of social media. But most mobilisations fail. We investigate the characteristics of those few mobilisations that succeed and hypothesise that the presence of ‘starters’ with low thresholds for joining will determine whether a mobilisation achieves success, as suggested by threshold models. We use experimental data from public good games to identify personality types associated with willingness to start in collective action.

Modeling the Rise in Internet-based Petitions

Collective action taking place on Internet platforms leaves a digital imprint which may be harvested to better understand the dynamics of mobilization. This ‘big data’ offers social science researchers the potential for new forms of analysis, using real-time transactional data based on entire populations, rather than sample-based surveys of what people think they did or might do. This paper uses a big data approach to track the growth of about 20,000 petitions to the UK Government over two years, analyzing the rate of growth and the outreach mechanism.

Petition Growth and Success Rates on the UK No. 10 Downing Street Website

Now that so much of collective action takes place online, web-generated data can further understanding of the mechanics of Internet-based mobilisation. This trace data offers social science researchers the potential for new forms of analysis, using real-time transactional data based on entire populations, rather than sample-based surveys of what people think they did or might do. This paper uses a `big data' approach to track the growth of over 8,000 petitions to the UK Government on the No.

Interactive Map of Central Government Online

ukgov2-620.png

We have collected and visualized a pilot crawl of UK Central Government websites in late 2011, showing all hyperlinks between central departments and the size of departmental web sites. This work was funded by the ESRC Internet, Public Policy and Political Science project and the JISC-funded InteractiveVis project. The UK government digital landscape is set for some major changes with the replacement of the direct.gov portal with the new gov.uk portal --- it will be interesting to see the difference in network configuration when we carry out the crawl again later this year.

Draft Paper: Understanding the Mechanics of Online Collective Action Using 'Big Data'

Now that so much of collective action takes place online, web-generated data can further understanding of the mechanics of Internet-based mobilization. This 'big data' offers social science researchers the potential for new forms of analysis, using real-time transactional data based on entire populations, rather than sample-based surveys of what people think they did or might do. This paper uses a 'big data' approach to track the growth of over 8,000 petitions to the UK Government on the No.

Join our team: Big Data Research Officer needed

We are excited to announce an open position for a Big Data Research Officer, who will contribute to three exciting Big Data projects at the OII (Leaders and Followers in Online Activism, Big Data: Demonstrating the Value of the UK Web Domain Dataset for Social Science Research, and The Internet, Political Science and Public Policy). We are looking for an individual with strong computer science skills and an interest in the social aspects of online technologies.

Applications close 16 March, and further information, contact details, and application information are available on the University of Oxford's Job Search website.

Leadership without Leaders? Starters and Followers in Online Collective Action

Presented by Helen Margetts and Peter John at the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR) general conference in Rejkavik on 26 August 2011.

Draft Paper: Applying Social Influence to Collective Action: Heterogeneous Personality Effects

Political scientists and economists commonly test for different kinds of social influence on collective action, particularly social pressure (visibility) and social information about the contributions of others (leading to conditional cooperation) but rarely in the same study design. This paper assesses the relative effect of these two kinds of social influence suggesting that their impact is best understood through hypothesizing for heterogeneous treatment effects based on personality.

Social Information and Political Participation on the Internet: an Experiment

This paper tests whether the social information provided by the internet affects the decision to participate in politics. In a field experiment, subjects could choose to sign petitions and donate money to support causes. Participants were randomized into treatment groups that received varying information about how many other people had participated and a control group receiving no social information.

New research project: The Internet, Public Policy and Political Science

We will begin a new three-year research programme on The Internet, Public Policy and Political Science: Collective Action, Governance and Citizen-Government Interactions in the Digital Era starting 1st April.

More information about this project is available in the OII press release, and project description page.

Syndicate content