MPs and E-representation: Me, MySpace and I

This source preferred by Darren Lilleker

Authors: Jackson, N. and Lilleker, D.

Journal: British Politics

Volume: 4

Pages: 236-264

ISSN: 1746-918X

DOI: 10.1057/bp.2009.2

This paper considers whether the use of weblogs and social networking sites (SNS) (Web 2.0 applications) by MPs has enhanced the representative process.

A content analysis was conducted of MP’s weblogs and SNS during May 2008.

Two approaches to representation were analysed. First, whether MP’s use of Web 2.0 applications was consistent with one of the four models: delegates, trustees, party and constituency. Second, whether the basis for a separate framework of ‘e-representation’ can be said to exist. The data suggest that MP’s use of Web 2.0 applications is most likely to be within the party and constituency models, although we also suggest the existence of a possible fifth model, the representation of self.

There is limited evidence that a fully functioning model of e-representation currently exists, but the basis exists for such a model to develop in the future. With weblogs this is likely to be based upon a global constituency centred around issues and/or the MP’s personality. For SNS it is more likely to be centred on constituency. The legacy of Web 2.0 may be that it empowers MPs to express themselves, and citizens to see MPs as accessible, ordinary people.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Jackson, N.A. and Lilleker, D.G.

Journal: British Politics

Volume: 4

Issue: 2

Pages: 236-264

eISSN: 1746-9198

ISSN: 1746-918X

DOI: 10.1057/bp.2009.2

This paper considers whether the use of weblogs and social networking sites (SNS) (Web 2.0 applications) by MPs has enhanced the representative process. A content analysis was conducted of MP's weblogs and SNS during May 2008. Two approaches to representation were analysed. First, whether MP's use of Web 2.0 applications was consistent with one of the four models: delegates, trustees, party and constituency. Second, whether the basis for a separate framework of 'e-representation' can be said to exist. The data suggest that MP's use of Web 2.0 applications is most likely to be within the party and constituency models, although we also suggest the existence of a possible fifth model, the representation of self. There is limited evidence that a fully functioning model of e-representation currently exists, but the basis exists for such a model to develop in the future. With weblogs this is likely to be based upon a global constituency centred around issues and/or the MP's personality. For SNS it is more likely to be centred on constituency. The legacy of Web 2.0 may be that it empowers MPs to express themselves, and citizens to see MPs as accessible, ordinary people. © 2009 Palgrave Macmillan.

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