E-mail has changed the policy process in state legislatures because political actors now have a new way to present their message to state legislators. What little research has been conducted on this topic examines e-mail communication generally and does not compare results by policy actor. Using an original survey of state legislators in eight states, we test for systematic effects of variables on general e-mail views and for effects specific to particular policy actors. We find that legislators have a nuanced approach to e-mail usage in the policy process with their assessment of its impact differing significantly for constituents, intermediary groups, and policy insiders. Only gender consistently shapes legislators' beliefs about e-mail with all groups, but institutional features, legislator characteristics, and legislator beliefs shape views on e-mail with different target groups. Clearly, legislators are attuned to the audience communicating via e-mail, and they value e-mail with each group differently.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law