Title: Internet use and political efficacy: the case of Cyprus

Authors: Nicolas Demertzis; Dimitra L. Milioni; Vassilis Gialamas

Addresses: Faculty of Communication and Mass Media Studies National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens 10562, Greece ' Department of Communication and Internet Studies, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol 3040, Cyprus ' Department of Early Childhood Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens 10680, Greece

Abstract: Although political efficacy is considered to be an important indicator of a well-functioning democracy, it is so far unclear whether it is being enhanced or undermined by internet use. This study seeks to understand the complex relationship between internet use and political efficacy, focusing on the unique case of Cyprus. It explores the effect of internet use, via digital updatedness, on users' perceptions about the impact of the internet on political efficacy and the role of sociocultural factors therein. Although the effect of internet use on internet-mediated political efficacy is found to be weak, the role of the sociocultural environment appears to be particularly important. Research findings are discussed and contextualised in terms of the distinct characteristics of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political culture.

Keywords: internet use; digital divide; political efficacy; Cyprus; electronic governance; e-governance; Greek Cypriots; Turkish Cypriots; political culture; politics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEG.2013.058413

International Journal of Electronic Governance, 2013 Vol.6 No.3, pp.187 - 208

Received: 06 Feb 2013
Accepted: 11 Oct 2013

Published online: 22 Dec 2013 *

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