Making the Absent Present

Digital Technology and Representation of Minority Groups in Brazilian Politics

by Thamy Pogrebinschi and Iná Chaves

When it is not deployed to misinform, distort the truth, or spread fake news, may the internet improve the political representation of minority groups? Prompted by this question, we (Thamy Pogrebinschi, WZB Berlin, and Iná Chaves, OAS) analyzed electoral campaigns in the Brazilian municipal elections in 2020 and conducted interviews with candidates and elected representatives. We found that digital technologies ease the breaking down of communicative barriers in electoral campaigns and expand the participatory dimension of elected office. Our conclusions point that digitalization could enable the expansion of descriptive representation and its conversion into a more responsive form of substantive representation.

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