The Internet and Parliamentary Democracy in Europe
A Comparative Study of the Ethics of Political Communication in the Digital Age
This book investigates the ethical challenges the internet presents to contemporary parliamentary democracy in Europe and how these challenges are being addressed. It fills an important gap: current literature until now has largely focused on the study of internet usage by politicians and institutions.
With the ever widening scope of participation in internet-based communication, there are widely differing views on its potential social, economic and political impact, and whether parliamentary democracy will be strengthened or weakened in the information age. Key questions include:
- To what extent is the internet being used in parliamentary political communication (the ethics of behaviour)?
- Should there be any institutional control and monitoring of parliamentarians’ use of the internet (the ethics of code of conduct)?
- What impact does the internet have upon the principle of trust and transparency in the context of parliamentary democracy (the ethics of accountability)?
The book compares four European parliaments in Europe: the British, European, Portuguese and Swedish Parliaments, using both quantitative methods (questionnaires and survey of websites) and qualitative methods (workshops and face-to-face interviews with parliamentarians and parliamentary staff).
This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of Legislative Studies.
Table of Contents
1. The Internet and Parliamentary Democracy in Europe: An Introduction Xiudian Dai and Philip Norton
2. Four models of Political Representation: British MPs and the Use of ICT Philip Norton
3. Prospects and Concerns of e-Democracy at the European Parliament Xiudian Dai
4. 'Connecting Europe': The Use of 'New' Information and Communication Technologies within European Parliament Standing Committees Jamal Shahin and Christine Neuhold
5. Are ICTs Changing Parliamentary Activity in the Portuguese Parliament? Cristina Leston-Bandeira
6. Becoming Electronic Parliamentarians? ICT Usage in the Swedish Riksdag Magnus Lindh and Lee Miles
7. Websites of Parliamentarians across Europe Ma Rosa Vicente-Merino
8. Political Ethics Online: Parliamentarians' Use of Email in Europe Xiudian Dai
9. Parliamentary Democracy Online: Lessons from Europe Xiudian Dai and Philip Norton
Xiudian Dai is senior lecturer in politics of the new media in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Hull. Dai has published widely on the politics of new media technologies, including The Digital Revolution and Governance (Ashgate, 2000) and Corporate Strategy, Public Policy and New Technologies (Pergamon, 1996).
Lord Norton of Louth [Philip Norton] is Professor of Government in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Hull. Lord Norton is author or editor of 26 books. He is an internationally recognised expert on the British Parliament and on comparative legislatures.