Google full text of our books:


Political Turbulence:
How Social Media Shape Collective Action
Helen Margetts, Peter John, Scott Hale, & Taha Yasseri

One of The Guardian’s Best Politics Books of 2016, chosen by Gaby Hinsliff

Paperback | 2017 | $24.95 | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691177922
304 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691159225
304 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 33 line illus. 5 tables.
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400873555 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1[PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

As people spend increasing proportions of their daily lives using social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, they are being invited to support myriad political causes by sharing, liking, endorsing, or downloading. Chain reactions caused by these tiny acts of participation form a growing part of collective action today, from neighborhood campaigns to global political movements. Political Turbulence reveals that, in fact, most attempts at collective action online do not succeed, but some give rise to huge mobilizations—even revolutions.

Drawing on large-scale data generated from the Internet and real-world events, this book shows how mobilizations that succeed are unpredictable, unstable, and often unsustainable. To better understand this unruly new force in the political world, the authors use experiments that test how social media influence citizens deciding whether or not to participate. They show how different personality types react to social influences and identify which types of people are willing to participate at an early stage in a mobilization when there are few supporters or signals of viability. The authors argue that pluralism is the model of democracy that is emerging in the social media age—not the ordered, organized vision of early pluralists, but a chaotic, turbulent form of politics.

This book demonstrates how data science and experimentation with social data can provide a methodological toolkit for understanding, shaping, and perhaps even predicting the outcomes of this democratic turbulence.

Helen Margetts is professor of society and the Internet and director of the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. Peter John is professor of political science and public policy at University College London. Scott Hale is a data scientist at the Oxford Internet Institute. Taha Yasseri is a research fellow in computational social science at the Oxford Internet Institute.


"[C]ontributes an important series of creatively and rigorously researched insights into the social mechanics of Internet-based collective action, handing researchers a new toolbox of methods and techniques in the process."--Science

"A comprehensive study."--Ivor Gaber, Times Higher Education

"A revelatory study."--Stuart Weir, Open Democracy UK

"Sheds interesting light on the year's great upheavals."--Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian Best Politics Books of 2016


"This engagingly written and elegantly designed study tests to their limits half a century's worth of big ideas about collective action. The authors convincingly show why information signals, visibility, and the distribution of thresholds are important for explaining the pace and scale of political engagement. Essential reading if you want to understand how it all kicks off online."--Andrew Chadwick, author of The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power

"This compelling book shows how, when, and why individuals decide to join online collective actions, and what makes those actions scale up. Using a fascinating array of cases taken from the news headlines of our time, the authors draw an important set of conclusions about democracy in turbulent times. Political Turbulence provides invaluable insights into political participation, individual choice, and democracy in an age of changing societies and politics."--Lance Bennett, University of Washington

"Political Turbulence is an exciting book. The authors bring a psychological perspective to the analysis of experimental results and big data to tell an insightful and fresh story about social media and collective action dynamics at the individual level."--Bruce Bimber, author of Information and American Democracy: Technology in the Evolution of Political Power

More Endorsements

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations ix
List of Tables xi
Acknowledgements xiii
Chapter 1 Collective Action Goes Digital 1
Chapter 2 Tiny Acts of Political Participation 34
Chapter 3 Turbulence 74
Chapter 4 How Social Information Changes the World 111
Chapter 5 Visibility Versus Social Information 136
Chapter 6 Personality Matters 153
Chapter 7 How It All Kicks Off 175
Chapter 8 From Political Turbulence to Chaotic Pluralism 196
Appendix 229
Notes 239
References 251
Index 271

Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Apple iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kobo eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $24.95 ISBN: 9780691177922

    Add to shopping cart

     Hardcover : $29.95 ISBN: 9780691159225

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Hardcover  £24.95 ISBN: 9780691159225

    Add to shopping cart

     Paperback  £19.95 ISBN: 9780691177922

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 9/7/2017

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share 
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Political Science And International Relations
    More Choices