A Global Comparative Ethnography of Parliaments, Politicians and People: Representation, Relationships and Ruptures

Relationships between politicians and the people they represent are in turmoil. This is no more evident than on social media.

Although the digital revolution has created unprecedented scope for political expression and debate, potentially acting as a connective tissue binding the public to politicians, the sobering reality of echo-chambers and post-truth populist memes has tempered the optimism of many.

In embracing social networking, politicians have exposed themselves to daily criticism for perceived breaches in their legislative and representative responsibilities.

The institutions that lie at the heart of our democracies – parliaments – are under constant attack by the media and disdained by the public. Their cultures are also under-researched by scholars.

At a time when in-depth political scrutiny has a vital role to play in addressing democratic deficits, this research will uncover the relationships between parliaments, politicians and people – as expressed and shaped by political communication – in six democracies. across Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania.