Parliament and Public Engagement two sides of the

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Parliament and Public Engagement: two sides of the same coin? Cristina Leston-Bandeira (ESRC –

Parliament and Public Engagement: two sides of the same coin? Cristina Leston-Bandeira (ESRC – RES-000 -22 -4072) ECPRD, Parliaments on the net IX, May 2011

Contents • Discourse of political disengagement • The endless pursuit of trust • The

Contents • Discourse of political disengagement • The endless pursuit of trust • The paradoxes of parliament • Marrying Participatory with Representative Democracy

Context of discourse on political disengagement • Decline vote turnout • Decline in trust

Context of discourse on political disengagement • Decline vote turnout • Decline in trust • Political discourse of vote apathy • But. . . • Still, huge area of focus • New media: first a panacea, then a must

Impact of internet on parliaments • Internet: opening up • But many challenges also

Impact of internet on parliaments • Internet: opening up • But many challenges also • One of the most exposed political institutions • Questioning of legitimacy • Parliament has come to symbolise political disengagement

A unique institution Collective Visible Accountable Representative institution not about participatory democracy • No

A unique institution Collective Visible Accountable Representative institution not about participatory democracy • No single institutional voice • Differing (opposing) agendas • Multiplicity of audiences • Temporary leaderships (vs permanent staff)

Some of the challenges in adopting new media • Slow processes • Difficult combination

Some of the challenges in adopting new media • Slow processes • Difficult combination with technology • An a-political institution • Challenge of a single corporate image and voice • Personification of competing actors

The paradox of parliament and new media Personal, individual and spontaneous vs nature of

The paradox of parliament and new media Personal, individual and spontaneous vs nature of new media Neutral, collective and slow nature of parliaments

Developing the paradox How to make the most of new media tools in the

Developing the paradox How to make the most of new media tools in the context of non-personal, non-immediate and ultimately a-political spaces such as parliaments? How to support the political voice of parliament? How to engage with the public in this context?

Developing Public Engagement • Huge demand for online opening up • Large investments on

Developing Public Engagement • Huge demand for online opening up • Large investments on public engagement - namely through new media tools • Development of communication/information services • Great focus on citizen input • Great focus on participatory democracy tools

Marriage between Participatory and Representative Democracy Participatory Democracy Representative Democracy Parliament

Marriage between Participatory and Representative Democracy Participatory Democracy Representative Democracy Parliament

The perverse effects of Public Engagement • Activities mainly a-political, apersonal, a-individual • Public

The perverse effects of Public Engagement • Activities mainly a-political, apersonal, a-individual • Public engagement becoming a product in itself • Contradictory pursuit of participatory democracy • Undermining of representative and political role of institution

Summing up - two sides of same coin? • Endless pursuit of trust not

Summing up - two sides of same coin? • Endless pursuit of trust not entirely helpful • Fine balance between: – Impartiality and Political – Accessibility and Representing – Public Engagement and The Business • Looking for: – Integration of political meaning – Acceptance of Representative remit

Thank you Photos from respective parliaments’ websites or i. Stockphoto. com C. C. Leston-Bandeira@hull.

Thank you Photos from respective parliaments’ websites or i. Stockphoto. com C. C. [email protected] ac. uk www 2. hull. ac. uk/fass/managing-parliaments-image. aspx

But. . . Decline turnout not that significant (Franklin, Rose) Trust varies according to

But. . . Decline turnout not that significant (Franklin, Rose) Trust varies according to external variables (Dalton et al) Huge increase of participatory democracy Development of Critical Citizens (Norris)

Summing up - two sides of same coin? • Endless pursuit of trust not

Summing up - two sides of same coin? • Endless pursuit of trust not entirely helpful • Fine balance between: – Impartiality and Political – Accessibility and Representing – Public Engagement and The Business • Looking for: – Integration of political meaning – Acceptance of Representative remit