Advocacy organizations rely on social media services, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage their supporters. These services increasingly influence how citizens and advocacy organizations engage politically online through the technical features and policies they choose to implement—a phenomenon that can sometimes disrupt the work of advocates. Interviews with digital strategists at several US advocacy organizations revealed low levels of awareness of this phenomenon, despite its potential impact on their work; substantial dependence on these services for advocacy work; and a shared sense of necessity to embrace these tools, despite their potential downsides. Implications for the scholarship and practice of Internet governance and digitally mediated advocacy are discussed.
Social Media + Society is an open access journal, so you can read the entire article online for free.
I recently co-authored a book chapter with Dr. Matthew C. Nisbet for the 10th edition of Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century (here’s a link to the 9th edition). The chapter is called Environmental Advocacy at the Dawn of the Trump Era. The chapter chronicles environmental activism from the last few years of the Obama administration to the latest developments under President Trump. It discusses the involvement of environmental activists in the 2016 primaries and the election, their reactions to Trump’s unexpected victory, and the actions they’ve taken since the election to confront Trump’s climate change denial and anti-environmental regulation agenda. Environmental Policy is the most widely used textbook on the subject in the United States. The 10th edition will appear in 2018 from CQ Press.
I have some good news to report on the publishing front: Last week I signed a contract with Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, to write my first scholarly book. The book will be about the new climate change advocacy groups (e.g. 350.org) that have emerged over the last ten years. It will examine the role of innovation in the communication technology ecosystem and the lack of climate action at the federal level in the emergence of these groups. This is a research area in which I have a lot of professional and scholarly experience, having worked for a climate advocacy organization — the 1Sky campaign, which has since merged with 350.org — and published several articles on the subject.
The book will probably be published in mid-2019. I’m very excited about this new scholarly venture, and would appreciate advice from anyone who has written a scholarly book.