New Media and Parliamentary Democracy

  • Stephen Coleman


Parliament inhabits the public imagination as much as the gothic citadel which is its physical embodiment. More than simply a physical place or a constitutional body, Parliament is an iconic symbol of democracy. We visit Parliament and bring to it affective and ritualistic expectations. We are visited by Parliament in our homes, vi. TV screens and websites, and through such mediation we witness a disembodied spectre of democratic theatre. Big Ben, as the emblematic image of parliamentary authority, is the most commonly purchased image by tourists to Britain.


Domestic Violence Select Committee Democratic Theatre Parliamentary Democracy Live Feed 
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  1. 1.
    Stephen Frantzich and John Sullivan, The C-Span Revolution. University of Oklahoma Press, 1996, pp. 249–51.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Quoted in Stephen Coleman, Electronic Media, Parliament and the People, Hansard Society, 1999.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    In Jean Seaton (ed.), Politics and the Media: Harlots and Prerogatives at the Turn of the Millennium. Blackwell, 1998, p. 17.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Stephen Coleman and Josephine Spiller, ‘Exploring New media Effects on Representative Democracy’, Journal of Legislative Studies. 11, January 2005.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    House of Commons Information Committee, First Report, HC 1065, 2001–02: Digital Technology: Working for Parliament and the Public. HMSO, 2002.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons, First Report, HC 368, 2003–04: Connecting Parliament with the Public. HMSO, 2004, para. 59.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Coleman

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