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Representation as interactive communication: theoretical considerations and empirical findings
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Forskarskolan offentlig verksamhet i utveckling (FOVU))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5485-8577
2013 (English)In: Information, Communication and Society, ISSN 1369-118X, E-ISSN 1468-4462, Vol. 16, no 8, p. 1201-1222Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Considering the recent interest in more interactive practices in political representation, this article argues that there is a need to understand the differentiated meanings and functions of this form ofcommunication. The subject of political representation as interactive communication is addressed theoretically as well as empirically. A theoretical framework is presented identifying three strategic functions of interactive communication in political representation: (1) interactivity as accountability, (2)interactivity as inquiry, and (3) interactivity as connectivity. Also, empirical analyses are conducted among blogging politicians in Sweden. These analyses suggest that interactive communication among political representatives cannot be understood as either a radical change in terms of new interactive forms ofrepresentation breaking with earlier norms and ideals, or complete continuity. Instead, the argument is that representatives may adopt interactive communication strategically to fulfil different normative ideals of political representation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2013. Vol. 16, no 8, p. 1201-1222
Keywords [en]
e-Democracy, political representation, Web 2.0, computer mediated communication, blogging
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-26573DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2012.757633ISI: 000323632300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84883488863OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-26573DiVA, id: diva2:573721
Available from: 2012-12-03 Created: 2012-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically 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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Karlsson, Martin

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Citation style
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