The Quality of Political Deliberation on Twitter

Alotaibi, Jareh (2019) The Quality of Political Deliberation on Twitter. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of 2019AlotaibiJFPhD.pdf]
Download (4MB) | Preview


This thesis explores how Twitter users discuss political issues in Saudi Arabia and how social and religious values impact on the quality of deliberation. Its three case studies are: women’s political participation; the housing shortage in Saudi Arabia; and unlawful use of public property. Based on the analyses of 12,093 tweets and 27 interviews with Twitter users in Saudi Arabia, this thesis argues that public debate is rational, respectful, focused and diverse. Both men and women participate in and exchange a range of attitudes towards government decisions. There is evidence to suggest that Twitter users criticise and challenge officials, clerics and established social values. Based on these findings, this thesis suggests that public deliberation about sensitive issues in Saudi society corresponds with key elements of public deliberation as it is envisioned in Western theories of citizen engagement in the public sphere. Some Twitter users perceive this kind of participation as an act of good citizenship. The analysis of tweets and interviews in this study demonstrate Twitter users’ sense of connectedness towards their society and fellow citizens. On the other hand, the results also confirmed that the quality of political deliberation is impacted on by government censorship, Twitter users’ self-censorship and social and religious values.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Jennifer Whitaker
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 16:11
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 16:11


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item