A symposium on media, communication and the limits of liberalism

Calabrese, Andrew and Fenton, Natalie, eds. 2015. A symposium on media, communication and the limits of liberalism, European Journal of Communication, 30(5). 0267-3231 [Edited Journal]

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The essays in this Special Issue explore the power and appeal of modern liberalism, even among the vast populations for whom its egalitarian promises go unfulfilled. For more than 30 years, we have seen dramatic growth in inequality worldwide, resulting from increasingly draconian economic policies – including severe austerity measures in the economic ‘periphery’ and sustained assaults on welfare and public service policies in affluent ‘core’ countries – along with a scandalous global financial crisis that calls into question the sustainability and legitimacy of the current politicaleconomic trajectory. During that same time, the media and communication industries have played a variety of key roles – as chronicler, cheerleader, infrastructure provider and highly profitable beneficiary – in bringing about this political-economic and ideological project, sometimes called “neoliberalism,” which has profoundly eroded the promise and realities of liberal democracy. Media institutions are implicated as subject and object in this pattern of erosion, which favours a thin stratum of elites, with injurious consequences for much of the rest of humanity, the latter of whose taxes and labor have paid disproportionately for the new boom in incomes for the financial class. In order to reconceive democracy in more substantive and egalitarian forms, media and communication scholars and practitioners need to address the critical questions about the organization of our lives by capital and seek to re-establish the value of publics and public goods. But first, we need to agree that the limits of liberalism are real, since such a consensus is not a foregone conclusion.

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Edited Journal

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre



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Date Deposited:

18 Dec 2015 09:07

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 14:14



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