The Replacement and the Mobilisation Hypotheses Revisited
This article discusses the state of political participation online more than ten years after the Internet’s great popular breakthrough as an everyday medium. Denmark is used as a case study to critically re-examine the frequently discussed replacement and mobilisation hypotheses on behalf of the Internet. The pure replacement hypothesis is rejected. Instead, it is found that the Internet still supplements rather than replaces other media, even among heavy Internet users. The Internet is one among several media used by ‘media omnivores’, and political participation online supplements rather than substitutes ofﬂine participation. More interesting, the mobilisation hypothesis is partly conﬁrmed. Even though some online participation patterns resemble traditional ones, it seems as if the Internet ﬁnally is starting to mobilise younger generations. Further, traditional predictors behind political participation, efﬁcacy and social capital seem to have less impact on online political participation. In the end, these ﬁndings are related to more overall discussions on the democratising potential of the Internet.