Editors: Katrin Voltmer, Christian Christensen, Irene Neverla, Nicole Stremlau, Barbara Thomass, Nebojša Vladisavljević and Herman Wasserman
Introduction: This book investigates the role of media and communication in processes of democratization in different political and cultural contexts. Struggles for democratic change are periods of intense contest over the transformation of citizenship and the reconfiguration of political power. These democratization conflicts are played out within an increasingly complex media ecology where traditional modes of communication merge with new digital networks, thus bringing about multiple platforms for journalists and political actors to promote and contest competing definitions of reality. The volume draws on extensive case study research in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Serbia to highlight the ambivalent role of the media as force for democratic change, citizen empowerment, and accountability, as well as driver of polarization, radicalization and manipulation. Click here for link to the publisher, and click here for the project publication list.
Welcome to MeCoDEM!
‘Media, Conflict and Democratisation’ (MeCoDEM) is an international project that investigates the role of traditional media and ICTs in conflicts that accompany and follow transitions from authoritarian rule to more democratic forms of government. The project was funded for three years and ended on 31 January 2017. Information about publications will be regularly updated. Further, the open source software, Mecodify, for the analysis of Twitter data remains available to external users, and the project’s bibliography can still be used by anybody interested in the relationship between media and democratisation conflicts.
Overall, the project aims to investigate:
- The way in which traditional media portray democratisation conflicts and whether media coverage contributes to the polarisation or moderation of divisions;
- The diffusion of conflict messages through new ICTs;
- The role perceptions, ethics and working practices of journalists in conflict situations;
- The communication behaviour of conflict parties – governments, political leaders, civil society groups – during democratisation conflicts and how communications heightens or ameliorates tensions.
The empirical research was carried out in four countries: Egypt, Kenya, Serbia and South Africa, each of them representing different scenarios of democratic change. A set of case studies provides in-depth understanding of the interplay between communication and the dynamics of democratisation conflicts. The research aims to contribute to communicative practices that are conducive for democratic governance and inclusive of participation in public life.
MeCoDEM was funded by the European Union within the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. With an EU contribution of 2.18 million Euros and a total budget of 2.89 million Euros, the project consortium includes eight partner institutions from six countries: University of Leeds (coordinating institution), University of Belgrade, University of Hamburg, University of Cape Town, University of Oxford, Stockholm University, Ruhr University Bochum and American University in Cairo.