, Volume 90, Issue 1, pp 121–140 | Cite as

Measuring Twitter-based political participation and deliberation in the South Korean context by using social network and Triple Helix indicators

  • Minjeong Kim
  • Han Woo Park


This study investigates the role of Twitter in political deliberation and participation by analyzing the ways in which South Korean politicians use Twitter. In addition, the study examines the rise of Twitter as user-generated communication system for political participation and deliberation by using the Triple Helix indicators. For this, we considered five prominent politicians, each belonging to one of four political parties, by using data collected in June 2010. The results suggest that non-mainstream, resource-deficient politicians are more likely to take advantage of Twitter’s potential as an alternative means of political participation and that a small number of Twitter users lead political discourse in the Twittersphere. We also examined the occurrence and co-occurrence of politicians’ names in Twitter posts, and then calculate entropy values for trilateral relationships. The results suggest that the level of political deliberation, expressed in terms of the level of balance in the communication system, is higher when politicians with different political orientations form the trilateral relationships.


Twitter Triple Helix Politician Korea Polarization 

Mathematics Subject Classification




This research was partly supported by the World Class University (WCU) project through the National Research Foundation of Korea, funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (No. 515-82-06574). The corresponding author is grateful for Ji-Young Park for data collection and visualization.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Journalism and Technical CommunicationColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Media & CommunicationYeungnam UniversityGyeongsan-siSouth Korea
  3. 3.World Class University (WCU) Webometrics Institute and CyberEmotions Research Center, Yeungnam UniversityGyeongsan-siSouth Korea

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