Media, Democratization and Civil Society
June 16 - 27, 2008

Organized by the COST A30 Action "East of West: Setting a New Media Research Agenda for Central/Eastern Europe"; the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania; and the Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS) at the Central European University (CEU)

Application deadline for scholarship applications: 14 February, 2008
Application deadline for fee-paying applications: 30 April, 2008

Course Directors: Monroe Price, Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
Miklos Sukosd, Department of Political Science, CEU, Budapest

Co-organizers / Faculty: Kate Coyer, Research Fellow & Lecturer, Annenberg School; Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS)
Arne Hintz, Program Director, Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS)

Additional Core Faculty: Michael Delli Carpini, Dean, Annenberg School for Communication
Nicholas W. Jankowski, Associate Professor, University of Nijmegen, Netherlands; Working Group Leader, COST A30 Action
Karol Jakubowicz, former Chairman of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services, Council of Europe; Working Group Leader, COST A30 Action
Beata Klimkiewicz, Assistant Professor, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland; Working Group Leader, COST A30 Action
Hakan Seckinelgin, Lecturer, London School of Economics, London, UK
Kristina Irion, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy, Central European University, Budapest
Sandor Orban, Executive Director, The South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM)
Sina Odugbemi, Head of CommGap, Salt Lake City, USA

Course Coordinator Laura Ranca, Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS)


The goal of the course is threefold:
  1. to bring together an international group of student-scholars in order to contribute to the emerging body of studies on the relationship between media and democracy, as well as on the democratization of the media itself;

  2. to unpack "the media" by focusing on civil society perspectives on media issues and asking which types of media have which kinds of democratic effects under what circumstances and conditions;

  3. to link theoretical debate with practical implementation through visits of civil society organizations and media projects.

The course will provide an overview of theories of transition and democratization, civil society and social movements, and media policy and reform; it will look at the recent developments in Eastern, Central and South East Europe and discuss the role of media and civil society; it will analyze current issues such as media pluralism, the emergence of public service media and the new political economy of digitalization; it will explore theories of policy-making with a focus on the involvement of civil society in policy processes regarding national, regional and global policies on media and online communication; it will explore the role of grassroots and citizen-based communication models, community media and community ICT networks, and consider ways in which contemporary democracies are inherently mediated by entertainment media and the extent to which people's democratic participation is filtered through popular pleasures.

The first week of the course will set the foundations by examining theories of democratization and civil society, media and entertainment, and the context of transition countries. The second week will focus on particular areas such as public service broadcasting, the politics of digitalization, journalism, community media and media ownership, and it will leave sufficient space for student presentations and for individual work on student papers. The course will include debates with representatives of media and civil society organizations such as the South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM), and it will offer field trips to independent media organizations like Budapest-based community radios.

The summer school will thus address the interests around media, democratization and civil society through a dual approach, complementing academic theory with civil society and grassroots practices, and seeking to develop innovative collaborations and creative opportunities for learning. Theoretical basics, case study work, national perspectives, NGO experiences and community development will be integrated to a common perspective that will help participants investigate the theoretical and political implications of recent and highly ambivalent political/social/economic transformations. A particular focus will be on grassroots, participatory media that are at the heart of a pluralistic democratic media system.

Background readings
(a few assigned readings will be selected)
  • Browne, Donald (2005) Ethnic Minorities, Electronic Media, and the Public Sphere; A Comparative Study. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Carter, April and Geoffrey Stokes, eds. (2001) Democratic Theory Today: Challenges for the 21st Century. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • de Jong, Wilma, Martin Shaw and Neil Stammers, eds. (2005) Global Activism, Global Media. London: Pluto Press.
  • Downing, John D. (2001). Radical Media: Rebellious Communication and Social Movements. London: Sage.
  • Dragon, Alfonso Gumucio (2002) Making Waves: Stories of Participatory Communication for Social Change. New York: Rockefeller Foundation.
  • Gillmour, Dan (2002) We the Media: Grassroots Journalism, By the People, for the People. Sebastopol: O'Reilly Media.
  • Hackett, Robert A. and William K. Carroll (2006) Remaking Media: The Struggle to Democratize Public Communication. London: Routledge.
  • Hallin, Daniel C. and Mancini, Paolo (2004) Comparing Media Systems. Cambridge University Press.
  • Held, David and McGrew, Anthony (2003) The Global Transformations Reader. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Jakubowicz, Karol (2007) Rude awakening: social and media change in Central and Eastern Europe. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press.
  • Jankowski, Nicholas W. and Ole Prehn (2002) Community Media in the Information Age: Perspectives and Prospects. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Jones, Jeffrey P. (2004) Entertaining Politics: New Political Television and Civic Culture. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Kaldor, Mary and Price, Monroe (eds.) (forthcoming 2007) Global Civil Society Yearbook. LSE. Kaldor, Mary (2003). Global Civil Society: An Answer to War. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Keck, Margaret E. and Kathryn Sikkink (1998) Activists beyond Borders. Advocacy Networks in International Politics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Khagram, Sanjeev, James V. Riker, Kathryn Sikkink (2002) Restructuring World Politics: Transnational Social Movements, Networks, and Norms. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Kidd, Dorothy, Bernadette Barker-Plummer and Clemencia Rodriguez (2005) Media Democracy from the Ground Up: Mapping Communication Practices in the Counter Public Sphere. Report to the Social Science Research Council.
  • Kingdon, John W. (1995) Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies. New York: HarperCollins. Kluver, Randolph, Jankowski, Nicholas W., Foot, Kirsten A., & Schneider, Steven M. (2007)
  • The Internet and National Elections; A Comparative Study of Web Campaigning. London: Routledge.
  • Norris, Pippa (2003) A Virtuous Circle. Reinventing Political Activism. New York: Cambridge University Press. Part III (pp. 183-306).
  • Norris, Pippa (2001) Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet. New York: Cambridge University Press. Part III (pp. 195-240).
  • Price, Monroe (2002) Media and Sovereignty. MIT Press.
  • Rennie, Ellie (2006) Community Media: A Global Introduction. Lanham, ML: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Rodriguez, Clemencia (2001) Fissures in the Mediascape. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Rodriguez, Clemencia, Kidd, Dorothy, & Stein, Laura (eds) (forthcoming, 2007) Making Our Media: Global Initiatives Toward a Democratic Public Sphere. Vol. 1: Creating New Communication Spaces; Vol. 2: National and Global Movements for Democratic Communication. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Servaes, Jan (1999) Communication for Development: one World, Multiple Cultures. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
  • Sukosd, Miklos and Bajomi-Lazar, Peter (2003) Reinventing Media: Media Policy in East Central Europe. Budapest: Central European University Press.
  • Tilly, Charles and Sidney Tarrow (2006) Contentious Politics. Boulder: Paradigm.