Congressional Communication in the Digital Age
(Routledge Research in American Politics and Governance ; : 20)
Taylor & Francis 2017/07
203 p. illustrations ; 24 cm.
Communication defines political representation. At the core of the representational relationship lies the interaction between principal and agent; the quality of this relationship is predicated upon the accessibility of effective channels of communication between the constituent and representative. Over the past decade, congressional websites have become the primary way constituents communicate with their members and a prominent place for members to communicate with constituents. Yet, as we move toward the third decade of the 21st century, little work has systematically analyzed this forum as a distinct representational space. In this book, Jocelyn Evans and Jessica Hayden offer a fresh, timely, and mixed-methods approach for understanding how the emergence of virtual offices has changed the representational relationship between constituents and members of Congress. Utilizing strong theoretical foundations, a broad historical perspective, elite interviews, and rich original datasets, Evans and Hayden present evidence that virtual offices operate as a distinct representational space, and they demonstrate that their use has resulted in unprecedented and ill-understood changes in representational behavior. Congressional Communication in the Digital Age contributes to the scholarship on representation theory and its application to the contemporary Congress. It is valuable reading for students and researchers interested in American politics, political communication, and legislative politics.
Table of Contents
1. The Transformation of Congressional Communication: From Legislative Correspondence to Multimedia Marketing 2. A Historical Overview of Congressional Communication 3. "What Hath God Wrought?" The Development of House Information Technology and the Implications of the Digital Age for Congressional Communication 4. Website Accessibility in the U.S. House of Representatives 5. Website Accessibility in the U.S. Senate 6. Congressional Use of Content Management Systems 7. Being Heard and Not Seen: The Congressional Tele-Town Hall as the Public Meeting of the Future 8. Congressional Websites, Constituent Communication, and Representation: Where Do We Go from Here?