Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The MoveOn EffectThe Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Karpf

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199898367

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199898367.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2019

“Online Tools for Offline Action” Neo-Federated Political Associations

“Online Tools for Offline Action” Neo-Federated Political Associations

(p.77) 4 “Online Tools for Offline Action” Neo-Federated Political Associations
The MoveOn Effect

David Karpf

Oxford University Press

The most common criticism of netroots advocacy associations is that they engage in “clicktivism,” mobilizing large online publics to engage in simple online actions, with little real-world effect. This chapter primarily discusses Democracy for America—a major netroots organization that uses the internet primarily to coordinate offline activities among its federated units. Based on eight months of participant observation with the Philadelphia chapter of Democracy for America, as well as interviews with leaders of the organization, this chapter reveals the often-overlooked benefits of the internet for encouraging face-to-face participation in local communities. It discusses the concept of “sedimentary organizations,” or internet-mediated groups that build their member list and reputation through a social movement- or election-related period of heightened citizen participation. It also discusses the increasing importance of the Mobile Web for such offline engagement, arguing that devices such as the iPhone and Android phones blur the distinction between “online” and “offline,” allowing for expanded location-based solutions to the challenges faced by neo-federated groups. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Organizing for America, the sedimentary organization produced by the Obama for America campaign. OFA provides a limited approximation of the neo-federated ideal type due to its relationship to the Democratic National Committee and to the president himself. The chapter helps us to locate OFA in the broader landscape of American political associations.

Keywords:   internet, interest groups, advocacy groups, Mobile Web, Barack Obama, Howard Dean, social movements, netroots

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .