Silent Partners: How Politicians' Facebook Communication with Constituents is Mediated

Chen Sabag Ben-Porat, Azi Lev-On, Sam Lehman-Wilzig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Theoretical research on political communication between Members of Parliament (MPs) and the public has focused on the role, activities, and perceptions of the MPs themselves without noting the existence of an intermediate layer: Parliamentary Assistants (PAs). This study examines the presence of PAs in the process of MPs' interactions with the public, and their PA's role in this process. The study investigates the perception that social media involves direct contact between the public and parliamentarians, raising questions regarding how communication is conducted between these two actors in political representation. The study found that PAs' social media skills and knowledge are hardly considered in the hiring process, although they play a central role in the MPs' social media connection with the public. Subjective variables generate differences in PA level of involvement operating MP social media channels. Based on these findings, a typology of PA involvement in MP social media operation is offered. Related Articles: Cortés, Juvenal J. 2019. “Process, Theory, and Practice in Direct Democracy: Avenues for New Research.” Politics & Policy 47 (4): 673-698. https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12317. Stephan, Mark. 2004. “Citizens as Representatives: Bridging the Democratic Theory Divides.” Politics & Policy 32 (1): 118-135. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2004.tb00178.x. Waheduzzaman, Wahed, and Sharif As-Saber. 2015. “Politics and Policy in Achieving Participatory Governance in a Developing Country Context.” Politics & Policy 43 (4): 474-501. https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12121. Related Media: Israeli Knesset website. https://main.knesset.gov.il/EN/Pages/default.aspx. Knesset Research and Information Center. https://main.knesset.gov.il/EN/activity/Pages/MMMAbout.aspx.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-569
Number of pages20
JournalPolitics and Policy
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Policy Studies Organization

Keywords

  • E-Parliament
  • Facebook
  • Intermediation
  • New Media
  • Parliamentary Aides/Assistants
  • Political Actors
  • Political Communication
  • Public Administration
  • Social Media

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