In its early days, some considered the internet to be the silver bullet that could deal with the deficits of representative democracy. Others had been less optimistic vis-à-vis its potential to foster democracy. In a blog originally posted on LSE British Politics and Policy, Hartwig Pautz looks at whether the e-democracy tool WriteToThem allows for meaningful communication between citizens and their elected representatives.
By Dr Catherine Bochel, Reader in Policy Studies, University of Lincoln
In a post-Brexit world, the way Parliament works and engages with the public is more important than ever.
By Kevin Davies and Cristina Leston-Bandeira
Over the last decade, public engagement has become a key role for parliaments. This is shown in the reinforcement of a wide range of types of activity, from expanding the scope of visits to parliament, developing educational resources about the institution, to introducing out-facing programmes actively seeking to engage communities with the work of parliament. Whilst this has represented a clear shift in the way parliaments engage with the public, most of this activity has tended to develop in parallel to actual parliamentary business – as an aside activity.
By Marc Geddes
I have been Communications Officer for the PSA Specialist Group on Parliaments for almost two years, and I have loved it. It has allowed me to engage with a range of academics, researchers, students and practitioners to help disseminate their research whilst also promoting the study of parliaments and legislatures across the UK. The main way that I have sought to do this is through our website, and especially through our blogs, which cover topical issues or overviews of legislatures. But why does this even matter? Why should parliamentary and legislative scholars be blogging? There are at least three reasons, and each relates to the audience that we are trying to engage: the public, practitioners, and academics.