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The Emergent ICT Culture of Parliamentarians: The Case of the Scottish Parliament

Webster CWR & Smith C (2008) The Emergent ICT Culture of Parliamentarians: The Case of the Scottish Parliament, Information Polity, 13 (3-4), pp. 249-273.

This article explores the ways in which information and communications technologies (ICTs) have become embedded within the activities of parliamentarians, by examining the experiences of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). The article presents an overview of exiting research in this area and suggests that many authors do not take into account the full range of functions and activities undertaken by a modern parliamentarian and consequently cannot fully perceive the extent to which these technologies support parliamentary life. Central to the article is a discussion of new unique longitudinal research data which provides empirical evidence of a significant technological orientation, and an emergent ICT culture, that is the outcome of the intertwined relationship between the adoption and use of new communications technologies by parliamentarians, and the established norms and procedures of parliamentary activity. The research findings presented here highlight the significant role played by new ICTs in the Scottish Parliament and the emerging new democratic system in Scotland. For the new Scottish Parliamentarians interacting with ICT is an important part of their daily life, to the extent that it would not be unreasonable to assert that use of these technologies has become a core parliamentary activity, possibly even to the extent that parliamentarians, and consequently the parliamentary system, have become reliant on the informational and communications capabilities embedded in ICTs. This is because these technologies are supporting a wide range of parliamentary roles and activities, and because they are underpinning a range of communicative relationships in the parliamentary arena and wider polity.

Subject headings
Scotland Politics and government.; Research Scotland; Electronic digital computers Evaluation

AuthorsWebster C William R, Smith Colin
Publication date2008
Publication date online10/02/2009
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN 1570-1255

Information Polity: Volume 13, Issue 3-4 (2008)

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