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Impact Factor:1.088 | Ranking:Communication 29 out of 76
Source:2014 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

A symposium on media, communication and the limits of liberalism

  1. Andrew Calabrese
    1. University of Colorado, USA
  2. Natalie Fenton
    1. Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
  1. Andrew Calabrese, Department of Media Studies, College of Media, Communication & Information, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 USA. Email: andrew.calabrese{at}colorado.edu


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.

Article Notes

  • Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

  • Funding The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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This Article

  1. European Journal of Communication vol. 30 no. 5 517-521
    All Versions of this Article:
    1. current version image indicatorVersion of Record - Nov 25, 2015
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