Twitter and 2013 Pakistan general election : The case of David 2.0 against goliaths

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review

6 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCase Studies in e-Government 2.0: Changing Citizen Relationships
EditorsImed Boughzala, Marijn Janssen, Saïd Assar
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Pages139-161
ISBN (Print)9783319080819, 9783319080802
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Abstract

This study followed the online activity on Twitter during Pakistan’s landmark 2013 General Election, also hailed as Pakistan’s first Twitter election, which marked the first ever transfer of power between two elected civilian governments. This election saw the unexpected emergence of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the political underdog which followed close at the heels of well-established dynastic parties to grab the third-largest number of seats in the National Assembly. The rise of this party and its leader is attributed to the estimated 30 million young Pakistanis who voted for the first time and the advent of social media, as well as the leadership of Imran Khan, the most famous sports celebrity in the country. This study focused on the Twitter campaigns of Pakistan’s political parties with the aim to investigate how the medium was used by political parties for information dissemination, interaction, mobilization and engagement of voters. Our investigation was related and discussed in the context of the actual success achieved by each party. The approach followed was systematic automatic and manual content analyses and a social network analysis of the tweets (n = 10,140) posted by the top four political parties and their leaders in the month leading up to Pakistan’s general election. Our findings identify that every party used Twitter for different purposes. PTI used Twitter in the most diverse ways—they interacted with voters, provided real time detailed campaign updates, discussed specific social and political issues and called for a greater mobilization of citizens to vote. Through triangulation of our findings with the publically available election data provided by the Election Commission of Pakistan we further conclude that the success story of PTI, especially at the provincial level, was a blend of the party riding on personality politics paradigm with a combination of an increase in voter turnout and strategized online-offline campaigning targeted at the youth.

Citation Format(s)

Twitter and 2013 Pakistan general election : The case of David 2.0 against goliaths. / Ahmed, Saifuddin; Skoric, Marko.

Case Studies in e-Government 2.0: Changing Citizen Relationships. ed. / Imed Boughzala; Marijn Janssen; Saïd Assar. Switzerland : Springer International Publishing, 2015. p. 139-161.

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)12_Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review