Leston-Bandeira and Bender: How deeply are parliaments engaging on social media?

Dr. Cristina Leston-Bandeira and David Bender, both of the University of Hull, have posted a paper entitled How deeply are parliaments engaging on social media?

Here is the abstract:

This article explores how parliaments are using social media, assessing the role this plays in public engagement. Relatively latecomers to the world of social media, parliaments have made considerable strides in the last couple of years with many now joining a platform that is still perceived as an unknown and vulnerable space for formal political institutions. We show that parliaments are using social media mainly to report parliamentary business, interacting with citizens only on the margins. We consider the extent to which this approach constitutes public engagement and explore the differences in strategy between parliamentary institutions. In our analysis we consider in particular the specificity of parliamentary institutions in their ability to use this type of tools effectively. We also reflect on the limitations and challenges these tools raise to an institution such as a parliament, namely in terms of engaging with the public. Our study includes an overview of social media accounts in parliaments across the world, being mainly based on a content analysis of a sample of Facebook and Twitter feeds from five European parliaments, supported by information drawn from elite interviews with senior parliamentary officials and representatives.

Thanks to Andrew Mandelbaum for pointing us to this paper.

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