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The political blog space: A new arena for political representation?
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5485-8577
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7291-2875
2016 (English)In: New Media and Society, ISSN 1461-4448, E-ISSN 1461-7315, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 465-483Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While the academic interest in the political blogosphere has grown exponentially in recent years, existing research is predominantly dedicated to political campaigning. In view of the “diminishing prestige of the electoral process” and the “rise of new forms of legitimacy” a broader political analysis of blogs is called for. This article investigates whether the political blogosphere is an arena for political representation by asking (1) how representatives communicate with citizens through blogging in order to aid central functions of political representation, such as accountability, connectivity, and inquiry, and (2) what strategic, technological, and normative factors explain differences in representatives’ communication with citizens. The empirical analysis, based on a survey questionnaire targeting all Swedish blogging representatives, illuminates four different approaches to blogging, with different drivers and implications for the representative democracy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 18, no 3, p. 465-483
Keywords [en]
Blogs, democracy, interactive communication, Internet, political representation, social media
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-32556DOI: 10.1177/1461444814543990ISI: 000371645500007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84959268820OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-32556DiVA, id: diva2:667962
Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically 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, MartinÅström, Joachim

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