The Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy

Mads P. Sørensen

Members of Parliament on Facebook: Towards an Understanding of the Pros and Cons of Online Political Conversations

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Key to the idea of a democratic public sphere has always been the ongoing conversations among citizens and between citizens and politicians (Koch, Mansbridge, Habermas, etc.). The conversations between politicians and citizens in the Danish political system have traditionally taken place at political party meetings and at public meetings and hearings. However, the rise of new social media like Facebook provides new, interesting platforms for these conversations—and many opinion makers and scholars have high expectations for their democratic potential. This chapter examines what happens when traditional democratic conversations between citizens and politicians are moved away from the old face-to-face meetings and into Facebook. Through interviews with Danish Members of Parliament (MPs), the paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of online democratic conversations on Facebook as experienced by the MPs. The paper builds on a former quantitative mapping of the political conversation activities between Danish MPs and their followers on Facebook (Sørensen 2016).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Democratic Public Sphere : Current Challenges and Prospects
EditorsHenrik Kaare Nielsen, Christina Fiig, Jørn Loftager, Thomas Olesen, Jan Løhmann Stephensen, Mads P. Sørensen
Number of pages20
PublisherAarhus Universitetsforlag
Publication year26 Aug 2016
ISBN (print)978 87 7184 104 6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2016

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