Cameron's Conservatives and the Internet - 'Breaking New Ground'
Ridge-Newman, Anthony, 'CAMERON'S CONSERVATIVES AND THE INTERNET: Change, Culture and Cyber Toryism' (Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke).
It is 2015 - a UK General Election year. But has the internet changed the ways in which politics is done? The new book 'Cameron’s Conservatives and the Internet: Change, Culture and Cyber Toryism' seeks to shed some light on this question with a 'unique' analysis of the Conservative Party 2005-14.
Researched and authored by Dr Anthony Ridge-Newman, 'Cameron’s Conservatives and the Internet', published by Palgrave Macmillan, is endorsed by leading individuals in the field as 'essential reading'.
Dr Alex Smith, University of Warwick, said the book: '…is unique, breaking new ground.'
Michael Fabricant, Conservative MP for Litchfield, said: 'Anthony Ridge-Newman's well-researched book is prime reading for anyone interested in the changing nature of the Conservative Party since the expansion of the internet in British politics.'
Professor Tim Bale, a leading expert in Conservative Party studies, said: 'Benefitting from being written from both an academic and an insider perspective, this book effectively outlines the challenges that new technology and social media pose to the organizational and campaign hierarchy that has traditionally characterized the Conservative Party.'
Dr Alex Windscheffel, University of London, said: 'This fascinating book will be essential reading for political researchers and practitioners alike.'
Ridge-Newman conducted ESRC funded research in the departments of History and Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London, 2008-2011. During that time, he was a Conservative councillor for Virginia Water, on Runnymede Borough Council, and a parliamentary candidate for Ynys Môn | Anglesey - increasing the Conservative vote share by 11.5%.
Ridge-Newman’s first-hand experience in the field of politics was embraced in his academic work using ethnographic methods - ethnography being the observation of culture. This research formed the basis of the book, which includes compelling interviews with Conservative Party officials and participants.
The book examines the role of specific internet technologies and applications like blogs, email, ConservativeHome, Facebook, MyConservatives, Twitter and WebCameron in the organisational culture of the Tory Party and presents the case for the emergence of a new technological subculture within the party, which Ridge-Newman calls 'Cyber Toryism'.