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Media and the Politics of Transformation in the Arab World and Asia

10./11.12.2015, Interdisciplinary Workshop, Berlin

Anna Antonakis

In times of increasing mediatization and digitalization, indisputably media play an important role when it comes to political and societal transformation processes. But how exactly can we analyze the relationship between transformation and media (and also media in transformation) to contribute to both the fields of political science and communication studies? Which theoretical concepts, methodological approaches and empirical fields can be chosen and how can they “cross-fertilize” each other?

In the scope of this conference, we seek to establish a comprehensive interdisciplinary dialogue among senior and junior researchers, acknowledging that despite several efforts theories and research practices in these two disciplines continue to co-exist rather than intersect.

The seminal uprisings in the MENA region in 2010/2011 have revitalized both research fields by bringing many-to-many media and mobilization processes into the focus. Choosing a country-based approach our conference seeks to inquire on how these processes evolve in the context of (formally) restricted media systems and state dominated public spheres. In order to allow for case-centered analysis as well as transnational comparisons these countries range from the MENA region and their respective transformation processes to the Far East.

In our opening panel discussion, we seek to bridge the gap between academia, activism and journalism in order to generate dialogue between practitioners and theoreticians. Our participants will share insights from their different professional and regional experiences: From traditional journalism, online journalism or blogging to support and capacity building in digital security.

The workshop is organized as a joint event of the division “International Communication” (Prof. Dr. Carola Richter, AREACORE) and the “Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies” (Prof. Dr. Cilja Harders) and funded by the Faculty for Political and Social Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin. The proceedings of this conference have been published in the following book: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-658-20700-7


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