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Connecting citizens to the European parliament: e-consultations as a tool for political representation
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5485-8577
2011 (English)In: E-parliament and ICT-based legislation: concept, experiences and lessons / [ed] Mehmet Zahid Sobaci, Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2011, p. 80-102Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, a number of e-participation projects have been implemented with the objective to strengthening the relationship between European citizens and members of the European parliament (MEPs). This chapter investigates the most extensive of these projects, the European Citizens Consultations (ECC), with a focus on the relationship between citizens and MEPs. Two potential functions of e-consultations for strengthening political representation are analyzed, the connectivity function and the inquiry function. The results indicate that the ECC project fall short of offering a functional tool for strengthening political representation. Participating MEPs are shown to express disappointment with the project and participating citizens show signs of a growing dissent with the European parliament following their participation. This analysis suggests that the shortcomings of the ECC project are due to an insufficient understanding of political representation and the role of MEPs in the design of the ECC project. Three lessons of the ECC project are highlighted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2011. p. 80-102
Keywords [en]
E-consultations, Political Representation, Political Communication, European Parliament, Political Trust, E-participation
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-20047DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-329-4ISBN: 9781613503294 (print)ISBN: 1613503296 (print)ISBN: 9781613503300 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-20047DiVA, id: diva2:447901
Available from: 2011-10-13 Created: 2011-10-13 Last updated: 2018-02-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Covering distance: essays on representation and political communication
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Covering distance: essays on representation and political communication
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Political representatives’ democratic legitimacy rests on their ability to cover the distance between themselves and citizens. Representatives must avoid being perceived as distant and aloof from the needs and wishes of those they represent. The aim of this thesis is to increase the understanding of how new forms of communication with citizens, through participatory initiatives as well as political blogging, are used by politicians in their roles as representatives. Underlying this aim is the question of whether new forms of communication can contribute to reducing the distance between representatives and citizens. The central argument of this thesis is that such types of communication aid representative democracy only to the extent that they offer representatives efficient channels for performing functions related to political representation.

This study presents a theoretical framework that identifies potential functions of communication between representatives and citizens for political representation. Its empirical analyses, presented in five articles, find that representatives widely communicate with citizens through participatory initiatives and political blogging to aid their roles as political representatives. Furthermore, results show that representatives’ communication is significantly determined by strategic, practical, and normative factors. The representatives are found to act strategically as communication practices are adapted to accommodate their particular situations, needs and normative orientations. Keywords:

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2013. p. 112
Series
Örebro Studies in Political Science, ISSN 1650-1632 ; 33
Keywords
political representation, political communication, participatory initiatives, political blogging
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32019 (URN)978-91-7668-983-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-20, Hörsal F, Forumhuset, Örebro universitet, Fakultetsgatan 1, 701 82 Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-15 Created: 2013-10-15 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.igi-global.com/book/parliament-ict-based-legislation/53008

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Karlsson, Martin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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More styles
Language
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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