Social Media and Parliamentary Infighting: Digital naturals in the Swedish Riksdag?

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Research on the use of social network sites by elected politicians has often been narrowed
down to behaviour during election campaigns and using social media as a way of reaching
voters and journalists. This chapter studies the way that members of parliament in the
Swedish Riksdag use social media as a tool for intra-party competition. The analysed data
consist of interviews with 37 parliamentarians from the parliamentary parties in Sweden, a
parliamentary, party-centred democracy. The study shows that rather than simply adoption
or non-adoption of social media based on beliefs about its power to attract voters,
politicians have varying incentives to use and apply social media based on election cycles,
different arenas of influence, rank, cultural differences between parties and individual traits
such as age. It also shows that age is a more important factor in determining social media
style than others. It contains one of the first studies of internal use of social media in
parliamentary parties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic Communication, Social Media and Democracy
EditorsW. Timothy Coombs, Jesper Falkheimer, Mats Heide, Philip Young
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-84116-1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science
  • Media and Communications

Free keywords

  • social media
  • democracy
  • political parties
  • political communication


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