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Are New Political Parties More Deliberative? Analysing Spanish 'Connective Parties'

Political Parties
Internet
Communication
Big Data
Stefano De Marco
Universidad de Salamanca
Stefano De Marco
Universidad de Salamanca
Daniel Gomez
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Borja Moya-Gómez
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
José Manuel Robles
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
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Abstract

Academics have been focusing in the last years on the role that Internet might have in strengthening the relationship between representatives and represented. In this debate, Bennett, Segerberg & Knüpfer (2017) have recently introduced the concept of "connective parties". That is, parties that would replace classical vertical structures of traditional parties by assembly and interactive processes, both online and offline. Therefore, they would maintain a more fluid relationship with their constituents, characterized by co-production of content and reciprocity in communication flows. According to the authors, connective parties would coincide with the new left political parties that have been born of the recent waves of citizen mobilization, included the Spanish party "Podemos". Objective of this work is to verify that connective parties use online social networks to maintain a closer relationship with their electoral base. Thus, the research will focus on the case of Spanish study, analyzing the 288 twitter accounts of the deputies of the XII legislature in the period from 19 to 28 December 2017. Using a social network analysis and the theory of graphs, we compare the communicative styles of the Spanish deputies depending on their reference party and the interlocutor they are interacting with (ordinary citizens, media, journalists, influencers or other deputies and parties). By this way, it will be possible to verify if the deputies that belong to potential "connective parties" are indeed more inclined to interact with the ordinary citizens compared with politicians of the traditional parties.