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How Are Parliaments Using New Media to Engage with Citizens?

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ICT-based methods of communication, and especially new forms of social media, offer parliaments the opportunity to communicate with citizens and engage them in the political process more effectively. This is important in a context of declining levels of trust in parliaments where new media is often identified as a tool to address poor engagement with politics. However, the use of ICT poses significant challenges to parliaments, many of which do not readily adopt new technology. As a result, most parliaments have acquired some of the forms and elements of ICT and the new social media, but most have not yet been able to use them in a highly successful manner or incorporate them effectively into their work. Sound management, adequate staff and funding are clearly important. However, cultural and institutional factors, along with how a parliament uses technology, can have as significant an effect as management procedures and financial resources.

Keywords: new media; parliament and the internet; public engagement; social media; transparency

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Hull, UK< xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">, Email:, URL:

Publication date: December 1, 2012


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