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Developing Links Despite the Parties – Parliament and Citizens in Portugal

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This article reviews the historical and institutional context of the Portuguese parliament and its consequences in shaping its relationship with citizens. This explains the heavily party-based representative mandate, as well as its national nature. Not only do parties mediate the relationship between parliament and citizens, but also constituencies have had little meaning in the Portuguese constitutional framework. Still, the article shows that the relationship between parliament and citizens has deepened over the last decade. In particular, the parliament has opened up considerably, namely through public engagement activities and new media. The article also dedicates a considerable part to petitions, as these have become an important mechanism for Portuguese citizens to engage with parliament.

Keywords: Portuguese parliament; parliament and citizens; petitions; public engagement; responsible party model of representation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Hull, UK 2: Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Centro de Investigação e Estudos de Sociologia (CIES-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal< xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">, Email:, URL:, Email:, URL:">

Publication date: December 1, 2012


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