Samantha McDonald

PhD Candidate

University of California, Irvine, US

Samantha McDonald is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Irvine. Using theories in political representation, digital democracy, and human-computer interaction, Samantha is investigating how the U.S. Congress uses ICT for constituent-communication. To perform this work, she has partnered with non-profits and organizations around Congress including the Congressional Management Foundation, The Open Gov Foundation, POPVOX, and the Democracy Fund. Currently, she is working with Members of Congress to develop and test new forms of digital communication for constituents.

Speaking In

From citizens to data points: the datafication of citizen engagement

Current uses of communication technology by members of the US Congress prevent citizens from meaningfully engaging with their representatives and promote the datafication of citizen information.

This study urges legislators to think critically about what technology they adopt and how these systems affect their perceptions of data and citizen input in the policymaking process.