The member for cyberspace: E-representation and MPs in the UK

This source preferred by Darren Lilleker

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

Pages: 64-79

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-329-4.ch005

This chapter offers a framework for considering whether the Internet might be facilitating the evolution of e-representation. The chapter starts by considering the meaning of representation; it then considers what factors influence changes in the concept of representation. We argue that, potentially, the Internet may be facilitating a model of representation based not on the geographic constituency, but upon common interest. The chapter assesses the use of four Internet modalities by UK Members of Parliaments (MPs): websites, e-newsletters, weblogs, and social networking sites. We suggest that there is evidence of parallel e-representation, where MPs use the Internet to enhance their relationship with geographical constituents. We also find the basis for a separate form of e-representation based around the development of an e-constituency of those with shared policy interests. We suggest that by creating a more flexible model, e-representation may add significant nuance to the direct versus representative democracy debate. © 2012, IGI Global.

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