Working Paper
Network bridging and multiple engagements. Digital media use of protest participants

Based on three series of protest surveys across nations, issues and time, the study examines to what extent the use of digital media permits multiple engagements in different protest events and different movement organizations. Departing from social movements’ need for internal and external linkage, the paper’s main claim is that digital media stimulate multiple activism defined as participating in several protest events and several movement organizations. Through ICT, activists manage to maintain their multiple engagements and to uphold weak ties with diverse protest communities. Core activists even more than peripheral participants rely on ICT. This basic pattern systematically holds across eight nations, across several issues, and across time.

Walgrave Stefaan, Van Laer Jeroen, Lance W. Bennett, Christian Breunig