This paper argues that a comparative approach to analysing the relationship between technology and political institutions has the potential to offer renewed understanding of the development of the Internet in election campaigning. Taking the different characteristics of political parties and the norms and rules of the electoral environment in the United States and the United Kingdom as an illustration, it suggests that the relationship between technology and political institutions is dialectical. Technologies can reshape institutions, but institutions will mediate eventual outcomes. This approach has the potential to generate a theoretical framework for explaining differences in the impact of the Internet on election campaigning across liberal democracies
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