23 September 2006

Bloggers and Parties

"Blogs have political potential not because they can organize and deliver votes in large numbers but because they have a comparative advantage in debating broad political messages and ideas and, where necessary, transforming them."

So says my friend Henry Farrell in the new issue of Boston Review. I completely agree with this particular conclusion. As you might suspect, Henry argues that blogs are an invaluable resource for Democrats in their efforts to articulate a coherent alternative to our reactionary Republicans. His essay definitely is worth reading and pondering. I myself doubt that the Demcorats actually want to formulate such a coherent alternative. They seem more intent on being like the Republicans. But I am just a crabby old guy, so that might be too harsh.

You can find an earlier essay that Henry published (with Dan Drezner) on the potential policy influence of blogs in Foreign Policy (2004) and his reflections on blogging among academics in the Chronicle of Higher Education (2005). He is always smart and provocative, even where we don't agaree. Henry, by the way, is one of the crew over at Crooked Timber.

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