Mapping a Changing Field


Digitalization is transforming the face of political participation. Citizens increasingly engage in politics in new and creative forms online. The concept of digital citizenship has the potential to capture the shifting role of citizens under online conditions. Yet this concept has been used inconsistently, provoking theoretical and operational shortcomings that complicate its analytical usability and may limit its academic and societal impact. This article provides a systematic review of literature on digital citizenship. Based on a review of 139 articles, we identify three dominant approaches to digital citizenship: the normative, the conditional, and the contextual. Additionally, we provide a systematization of alternative approaches to digital citizenship and discuss their potential to inform literature on this concept. Finally, we put forward a citizenship norms approach that may reconcile the different perspectives on digital citizenship. In sum, this article presents a review of the digital citizenship research and provides new avenues for the concept to be used in future research on the moving target that political participation presents under online conditions.

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