Week 1 — Course Introduction and Overview

Week 2 — Public Life, Civic Engagement And Generational Shifts


Week 3 — How to Think about Campaigns


Week 4 —Online Movements taking Action Offline, Offline Movements adding Digital Campaigns


Week 5– Critiques of Online Action


Week 6 — How Online Tools Have Shaken Up Elections


  • Daniel Kreiss. “Acting in the Public Sphere: The 2008 Obama Campaign’s Strategic Use of New Media to Shape Narratives of the Presidential Race,” Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change, 2012.
  • Hamm, Theodore: The New Blue Media, 2008. “Netroots I: The Rise of MoveOn” (pg. 85–104)

Week 7 — Organization-less Organizing

- The new face of collective action: Distributed action without central organizers

- The loss of privacy and its impacts on digital social movements


  • Clay Shirky, “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations” (video), Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 2008.
  • Networked Change, How progressive campaign are won in the 21st century

Week 8 — Older Organizations Take To the Web

  • Bruce Bimber, Andrew Flanagin, Cynthia Stohl, “Reconceptualizing Collective Action in the Contemporary Media Environment,” Communication Theory, 2005.
  • David Karpf, “Online Political Mobilization from the Advocacy Group’s Perspective: Looking Beyond Clicktivism,” Policy & Internet, 2010.

Week 9 — Journalism in the Digital Age


  • “The State of the News Media 2013,” Pew Research Center, Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2013.
  • Jay Rosen, “Why Political Coverage Is Broken,” Jay Rosen’s Press Think, 2011.
  • Jodi Enda, “Campaign Coverage in the Time of Twitter,” American Journalism Review, 2011.

Week 10 — Looking Forward


  • Levine, Peter. “Strategies: How to Accomplish Civic Renewal.” We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America.
  • Sifry, Micah. The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Politics (Yet). “Coda: The Trouble We Face; The Opportunity We Have.”
  • Johnson, Steven. Future Perfect: The Case For Progress in a Networked Age.

Week 11 — Election Review

- Review analysis of the fall election


Week 12– Class Presentations

Week 13 — Class Presentations