Javnost - The Public, Vol. 15 - 2008, No. 3
Much of the research on communication and democracy continues to lean on Jürgen Habermas’s work. However, many aspects of his approach have been intensely criticised in recent debates, both in communication studies and political theory. Habermas’s emphasis on rational consensus as the aim of public communication has particularly been problematised. One of the most prominent critics, Chantal Mouff e and her agonistic model of democracy, have increasingly drawn the interest of media scholars. Mouffe explicitly contrasts the dominant Habermasian concept of the public sphere, and it appears that her model is impossible to combine with the Habermasian approach. But how substantial are the diff erences? What are the disagreements centred on? And what are their consequences for empirical media and communication research? In this article we argue that rather than accepting the standard readings or polar positions accredited to the two, we need to retain a certain “theoretical eclecticism” in combining normative theories with empirical research. Despite their controversies, we argue that both Habermas’s and Mouff e’s theories have value as critical perspectives that help us refl ect on the ideals of democratic public communication.
Information society with Chinese characteristics. Discursive evolution of the neo-industrialisation strategy in the people’s daily.
By focusing on the Chinese offi cial discourse of “neoindustrialisation” published on the People’s Daily, this article not only provides an understanding of the Chinese offi cial understanding of information society and information economy, but also foregrounds the issue of information in China’s confl icted reintegration with global capitalism. This article argues that, deviant from the Western discourse of post-industrialism, the neo-industrialisation strategy promotes a coordinated effort to both “industrialise” and “informationise” the economy. Moreover, pragmatic concerns with China’s realities, including unfi nished industrialisation, structural unemployment and the domestic demands for all-around national development, all fi nd echoes in the discourse of neo-industrialisation. By providing a politicaleconomic contextualisation of this discourse, this article also strives to provide an insight of the most recent plan of forming a “super” Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in the Chinese government, which was announced in March 2008.
From a historical and critical perspective, this paper examines the use of mobile phones in civil society movements in Asia, as evidenced in the People Power II movement in the Philippines and the Nosamo movement in South Korea. A comparative framework is proposed concerning (1) the temporal and spatial characteristics of the two incidents, (2) the distinct organisational forms of the movements that were shaped by unique contextual and structural factors as well as the common historical and institutional conditions they shared, and (3) the relationship between mobile communication and other media forms including traditional mass media and the Internet. The evidence being analyzed includes journalistic accounts, statistical sources, and a combination of secondary and primary research. A few tentative conclusions emerge, including: (1) mobile communication can be a key catalyst to civil society formation at times of emergency; (2) mobile phones work with the Internet and other media in creating an enlarged communication ecology, but to succeed, this has to be based on existing political struggles; (3) the rapidity and scalability of mobile civil society movements pose challenges to the political process. The overall argument is that, by analyzing an entire array of issues being glossed over in popular accounts of these two events, we can gain a much deeper and contextualised understanding about the socio-political aspects of political communication through the mobile phone. Pending issues for future research are also addressed.
This paper discusses the ways in which eff orts aimed at democratising the media system and empowering communities in Indonesia in three discursive periods (the 1998 “Revolution Movement,” the “Reform Era” follow-up, and the 2002 Broadcasting Act up till the present time) have ebbed and flowed. The main result of the changing winds so far has been the liberalisation of the market, in line with global media trends. The Government has tried to frustrate the prospects of community media. Hence, the current development of community radio in the country remains stagnant, the main challenge being to create a more visible position in the media landscape, which in turn may bring about a more supportive stance in the government’s policies. Our tour d’horizon of the state of affairs of community radio, its complementary status to the mainstream national media scene, and the assessment of current needs are based upon empirical evidence gathered in the Manado and Jogyakarta areas. Departing from the different dynamics of these two cases, weaknesses and critical success factors will be assessed, taking into account the different backgrounds of the regions, radio practitioners as well as their audiences in terms of religion, ethnicity, and life styles.
The article focuses on international parliamentary institutions (IPIs), which generally do not receive much attention in the scholarly literature. However, it can be argued that in spite of some notable difficulties, such as the lack of membership continuity and lack of funding, IPIs can contribute to the reduction of the global/regional democratic deficit. To account for, and discuss the prospects of, increased involvement of parliamentarians in international affairs, the concepts of deliberative democracy and international public spheres have been used.
Reviewed books: - Arnsfeld, Andreas. 2005. Medien – Politik– Gesellschaft: Aspekte ihrer Wechselwirkungen unter dem Stichwort Politainment. Marburg: Tectum Verlag. - Jones, Jeffrey P. 2005. Entertaining Politics: New Political Television and Civic Culture. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. - Nieland, Jörg-Uwe and Klaus Kamps, eds. 2004. Politikdarstellung und Unterhaltungskultur: Zum Wandel der politischen Kommunikation. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag. - Thussu, Daya Kishan. 2007. News as Entertainment: The Rise of Global Infotainment. London: Sage. - Van Zoonen, Liesbet. 2005. Entertaining the Citizen: When Politics and Popular Culture Converge.Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.