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The Impact of VAAs on (non-Voting) Aspects of Political Participation: Insights from Panel Data Collected During the 2017 German Federal Elections Campaign

Vasilis Manavopoulos
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  • Department of Communication and Internet Studies, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Vasiliki Triga
  • Department of Communication and Internet Studies, Cyprus University of Technology, Limassol, Cyprus
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Stefan Marschall / Lucas Constantin Wurthmann
Published Online: 2019-02-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/spp-2018-0008


Thus far, research on the effects of Voting Advice Applications has focused on some aspects of voting behavior, whether, for example, these online tools impact citizens’ likelihood to vote or their voting choices. Relatively under-researched remain questions concerning the relationship between using VAAs and other forms of engagement with politics, such as involvement in electoral campaigns and information seeking about politics and parties. This paper seeks to examine effects in these behaviors associated with VAA-use employing panel data generated during and after the period of the German Bundestag Federal Election in September, 2017. The data from roughly 1120 participants, sampled to be representative of the German internet users, were collected in four waves, 1 month before the election at the earliest and several weeks following at the latest. We find that VAA-use is positively associated with consuming information about politics through other media (e.g. TV) and other election-related information-seeking activities, such as reading party programmes. On the other hand, we find no statistically significant relationship between VAA-use and interpersonal talk about politics or more active engagement with electoral campaigns such as attending party rallies.

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About the article

Published Online: 2019-02-28

Published in Print: 2018-12-19

Funding Source: European Union’s Horizon 2020 NOTRE project

Award identifier / Grant number: 692058

The authors wish to acknowledge the funding of the panel study by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Köln & travel funding through the European Union’s Horizon 2020 NOTRE project (H2020-TWINN-2015, Grant Agreement Number: 692058).

Citation Information: Statistics, Politics and Policy, Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 105–134, ISSN (Online) 2151-7509, ISSN (Print) 2194-6299, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/spp-2018-0008.

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