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One of the most difficult problems facing Western democracy today is the decline in citizens' political engagement. There are many elements that contribute to this, including fundamental socio-cultural changes. This book summarizes these contexts and situates itself within them, while focusing on the media's key role in shaping the character of civic engagement. In particular, it examines the new interactive electronic media in terms of their civic potential. Looking at the evolution of the media landscape, the book examines key notions such as citizenship, public sphere, agency, identity, deliberation, and practice, and offers a multi-dimensional analytic framework called 'civic cultures'. This framework is then applied to several settings, including television, popular culture, journalism, the EU, and global activism, to illuminate the role of the media in deflecting and enhancing political engagement, as well as in contributing to new forms of political involvement and new understandings of what constitutes the political.