Internet and Representative Democracy

Panel Code

The introduction of internet into legislatures and parliaments has been quite prevalent in current representative democracy. Whether this new technology can enhance the functions of representativeness or enlarge the scope of participation in legislative processes is subject to question. On the one hand, internet has been viewed as an innovative tool that is good for people to link to their representatives. On the other hand, this is also considered as a narrow focused communication platform that may encourage extreme voices more than public opinions. Since the introduction and utilization of internet in legislatures and parliaments have not been well studies yet, this panel welcomes papers that concern with this main theme. Several general topics are suggested below:
1. How has the internet been introduced into legislatures or parliaments?
2. How have legislators or MPs been utilizing internet to perform their functions?
3. What is the effect of the internet utilization on representativeness?
4. Do political parties in legislatures and parliaments, which use internet differently, influence their legislative performance?
5. Whether the introduction of internet into legislatures and parliaments has been more or less fixed the problem of representative deficit?

Either single country or cross-country comparative studies that address the above questions are welcome to join this panel.