We test the role of like-minded and cross-cutting political discussion as a facilitator of online and offline political participation and examine the role of strong versus weak network ties. Most prior research on the topic has employed cross-sectional designs that may lead to spurious relationships due to the lack of controlled variables. The findings of a two-wave panel survey controlling the autoregressive effects suggest that cross-cutting talk with weak ties significantly dampens online but not offline political participation. However, no such effects were detectable for cross-cutting talk with strong ties. In addition, we found no effect of discussions involving like-minded individuals in either weak or strong network connections on online and offline forms of political engagement. Implications are discussed.
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The European Journal of Communication Research is an established forum for scholarship and academic debate in the field of communication science and research from a European perspective. Communications highlights the concerns of communication science through the publication of articles, research reports, review essays and book reviews on theoretical and methodological developments considered from a European perspective.