ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Look who’s blogging now - The diffusion and hierarchies of digital communication among Swedish politicians

Martin Karlsson
University of Örebro
Martin Karlsson
University of Örebro
Open Panel

Abstract

There is a widespread debate within and outside the political science community around the emergence of a digitalized culture of communication among politicians. This study addresses diffusion of the practice of political blogging among Swedish politicians; geographically, socio-demographically, and in relation to pre-existing political hierarchies. Has the practice of political blogging diffused beyond the metropolitan areas, the dot.net generation and most importantly beyond the traditional political elites? Secondly, the hierarchies of political blogs in the Swedish blogosphere are investigated addressing the question whether this channel of communication is reinforcing pre-existing political hierarchies, evening out the field, or creating new hierarchies. Diverging from the most common research method of content analysis this paper analyses a survey answered by over 700 Swedish political bloggers in the fall of 2010. The survey data is connected with a ranking of Swedish political blogs (based on number of in-coming links). The main aim of the study is to investigate the potential of political blogging to add new voices to the political debate and to facilitate local as well as national arenas for communication between citizens and politicians. In sum this study investigates the diffusion of the practice of blogging among political representatives and evaluates the functionality of blogging in political representation. The results indicate a broad diffusion of the practice of blogging although asymmetries and age. When it comes to understanding divergence in impact of blogging, old hierarchies are partly persistent but also challenged by this new form of political communication.