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Communication and Global Power Shifts

Professor Yuezhi Zhao Fall 2013, Downtown

Email: Seminar: 13:30-16:20, Thurs.

Office: HC3559/3561 Office Hour: 16:30-17:20, Thurs.


This course examines the mutually constitutive relationship between rapidly transforming global communication systems and shifting structures of global political economic and cultural power. Competing claims of global power shifts – between the West and the Rest, between labor and capital, and between established institutions and networked “multitudes” – are analyzed in relation to enduring patterns and emerging dynamics in global communications.

The first part of the course addresses conceptual issues and provides historical, theoretical, as well as contemporary political economic and policy overviews. The second part focuses on the multifaceted intersections of an evolving geopolitics of information and ongoing processes of state transformation, market integration, and social struggles in and through a wide range of communication forms, processes, and practices in different world regions. The course demonstrates that competing claims of global power shifts are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Rather, they intersect in complex ways to define the new dynamics of power in the current era, as various social forces fight out their visions and stakes in a crises-laden global order both within and beyond the nation-state and other boundaries.

Course Texts:

A. Mattelart, Mapping World Communication: War, Progress, Culture (Minnesota, 1994)

P. Chakravartty and Y. Zhao (eds.), Global Communications: Toward a Transcultural Political Economy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008)

Ho-Fung Hung, China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism (Johns Hopkins, 2009)

R. Mackinnon, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom (Basic Books, 2012)

Vijay Prashad, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013).

Additional required readings will be made available through a course wiki. See also the appendix.

Course Requirements:

Seminar Participation and Presentation 20%

Mid-term Short-Paper and/or Book Review 30%

Term Paper: Substantive Lit Review or Research Paper 50%

The School expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. The School will follow policy T10.02 with respect to “Intellectual Honesty,” and “Academic Discipline” (see General Regulations Section in calendar).

Seminar Topics and Reading Schedule

Week 1/Sept 12: Introduction: Communication, Power, and the Problematic of the Global

· James F. Hoge Jr., “A Global Power Shift in the Making.” Foreign Affairs July/August 2004.

· Armand Mattelart, Mapping World Communication, Prefaces and Part I, War.

Week 2/Sept 19: Global Capitalism, Propaganda, and Anti-Systemic Movements between the Hot and Cold Wars: Power Shifts from Capital to Labor and from Colonizers to the Colonized?

· Armand Mattelart, Mapping World Communication, Part II, Progress.

· Michael Parenti, Blackshirts & REDS: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism (San Francisco: City Lights, 1997), Chapter 1, “Rational Fascism,” pp. 1-22.

· Patricia Mazepa, “Democracy of, in and Through Communication: Struggles around Public Service in Canada in the First Half of the Twentieth Century,” Info 9:2/3 (2007), 45-56.

Week 3/Sept. 26: Information, Culture, and the Implosion of Mass-based and State Power-Oriented Social Movements in the Global East and Global South

· Armand Mattelart, Mapping World Communication, Part III, Culture

· Yuezhi Zhao, “Sustaining and Contesting Revolutionary Legacies in Media and Ideology”, in Sebastian Heilmann and Elizabeth J. Perry (eds.), Chairman Mao’s Invisible Hand: The Political Foundations of Adaptive Governance in China (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011), pp. 201-236.

Week 4/Oct. 3: Communication, Neoliberal Globalization, and the Rise of the Warfare State

· Vijay Prashad, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013), Introduction and Chapter 1, pp. 1-83.

· Dan Schiller, “The Militarization of US Communications”, in Janet Wasko, Graham Murdock, and Helena Sousa (eds.), Handbook of Political Economy of Communication (Blackwell, 2010).

· Sunera Thobani, “Gender and Empire: Veilomentaries and the War on Terror,” in Global Communications, pp. 219-242.

Week 5/Oct. 10: Communication, Economic Crisis, and the Transformation of Global Capitalism

· Vijay Prashad, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013), Chapters 2-3, pp. 85-230.

· Ho-Fung Hung, China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism, Introduction and Chapters 1-5.

· Dan Schiller, “Rosa Luxemburg’s Internet? For a Political Economy of State Mobilization and the Movement of Accumulation in Cyberspace”, International Journal of Communication (7), 2013 (forthcoming).

Week 6/Oct. 17: NWICO, WSIS, and Start All Over Again? The Evolving Regime of Global Communication and Culture Regulation and Policy-Making

· Kaarle Nordenstreng, “Free Flow Doctrine in Global Media Policy”, in Robin Mansell and Marc Raboy (eds.), The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy (Blackwell, 2011).

· Jane Kelsey, “Globalization of Cultural Policy-Making and the Hazards of Legal Seduction,” in Graham Murdoch and Janet Wasko, Media in the Age of Marketization (Cresskill, Hampton Press, 2007), pp. 151-187.

· Li Congjun, “Toward a New World Media Order”, Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2011.

· Dan Schiller, “Maters of the Internet”, Le Monde diplomatique, February 2013.

                                            • Mid-term Assignment Due in Class*******************************

Week 7/Oct. 24: Consent of the Networked? Twitter Revolutionaries, Digital Prosumers, and Internet Freedom/Control/Surveillance

· Rebecca Mackinnon, Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, (Basic Books, 2012).

· Jack Lichuan Qiu, “‘Power to the People!’ Mobiles, Migrants and Social Movements in Asia,” International Journal of Communication 7(2013), forthcoming.

Week 8/Oct. 31: Local and Global Sites of Power in Media Production, Distribution, Consumption, and Technological Innovation

· Sujata Moorti, “ Transnational Brides: Wedding Magazines and the Invention of a Cosmopolitan Indian Tradition,” in Michael Curtin and Herman Shan, Reorient Global Communication: Indian and Chinese Media Beyond Borders (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010), pp. 83-103.

· Boatema Boateng, “Local and Global Sites of Power in the Circulation of Ghanian Adinkra”, in Paula Chakravartty and Yuezhi Zhao (eds.), Global Communications, pp. 163-188.

· Afonso de Albuquerque, “On Models and Margins: Comparative Media Models Viewed from a Brazillian Perspective,” in Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini (eds.), Comparative Media Systems beyond the Western World (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 72-95.

· Yuezhi Zhao, “China’s Pursuits of Indigenous Innovation in Information Technology Developments: Hopes, Follies and Uncertainties,” Chinese Journal of Communication, Vol. 3, No. 3 (September 2010), 266-289.

Week 9/Nov. 7: Al Jazeera, Social Media, and the Reconfiguration of State and Society Power in the Middle East (Guest Speaker?)

· Mohammed El Oifi, Qatar, Growth and Diversification: What to do about Al-Jazeera? Le Monde diplomatique, .

· Marwan Kraidy, “The Rise of Transnational Media Systems: Implications of Pan-Arab Media for Comparative Research,” in Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini (eds.), Comparative Media Systems Beyond the Western World (Cambridge, 2011).

· Helga Tawil Souri, “Move on Bangalore, Here Comes …Palestine? Western Funding and ‘Internet Development” in the Shrinking Palestinian State,” in Paula Chakravartty and Yuezhi Zhao (eds.), Global Communications.

· Albrecht Hofheinz, “Nextopia? Beyond Revolution 2:0,” International Journal of Communication 5(2011): pp. 1417-1434, .

Week 10/Nov. 14: The Rise of China or “Chimerica” or BRICS? Communication and New Dynamics of (Trans)-national (Dis)-integration

· John Gulick, “Sino-Russian Geoeconomic Integration: An Alternative to Chinese Hegemony on a Shinking Planet”, Chapter 7 of Ho-Fung Hung, China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism.

· Colin Sparks, Deconstructing BRICS, International Journal of Communication 7 (2013), (forthcoming).

· Olessia Koltsova, “Media, State, and Responses to Globalization in Post-Communist Russia,” in Paula Chakravartty and Yuezhi Zhao (eds.), Global Communications, pp. 51-74.

· Yuezhi Zhao, “Communication, the Nexus of Class and Nation, and Global Divides: Reflections on China’s Post-Revolutionary Experiences”, Nordicom Review, Jubilee Issue (Vol. 30, June 2009), pp. 91-104.

Week 11/21: Chinese Labor Struggles, the U.S. Labor Movement, Falun Gong Media, and Human Rights Activism: Antagonisms and Affinities in the Global Media

· Stephanie Luce and Edna Bonacich, “China and the U.S. Labor Movement”, and Beverly J. Silver and Lu Zhang, “China as an Emerging Epicenter of World Labor Unrest,” Chapter 8 and Chapter 9, Ho-Fung Hung, China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism.

· Yuezhi Zhao, “Falun Gong, Identity, and the Struggle for Meaning inside and outside China,” in James Curran and Nick Couldry (eds.), Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked Society (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), pp. 209-224.

· Barry Sautman and Yan Hairong, “The ‘Right Dissident’: Liu Xiaobo and the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize,” Positions 19:2 (Fall 2011), pp. 682-613.

· Yuezhi Zhao, “The Struggle for Socialism in China: The Bo Xilai Saga and Beyond,” Monthly Review 64:5 (2012), .

Week 12/Nov. 28: Communication, Post-Neoliberal Transformations, and the Future of the Global South

· Vijay Prashad, The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013), chapter 4, pp. 231-280.

· Arthur-Martins Aginam, “Neoliberalism, Nongovernmental Organizations, and Communication in Sub-Saharan Africa,” in Paula Chakravartty and Yuezhi Zhao (eds.), Global Communications pp. 243-261.

· Robert Duffy and Bob Everton, “Media, Democracy, and the State in Venezuela’s ‘Bolivarian Revolution’,” in Paula Chakravartty and Yuezhi Zhao (eds.), Global Communications, pp. 113-140.

· Glauco Arbix and Scott B. Martin, “Beyond Developmentalism and Market Fundamentalism in Brazil: Inclusionary State Activism without Statism,” .

                                      • Final Paper Due Date: Tuesday, December 10, 4:00 PM *****************

Appendix: Suggested Readings for Book Review and Research Paper

· Almiron, Nuria (2010) Journalism in Crisis: Corporate Media and Financialization (Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press).

· Boyd-Barrett, Oliver (ed.), Communications Media Globalization and Empire (Eastleigh, John Libbey Publishing, 2006).

· Chakravartty, Paula and Y. Zhao (eds.), Global Communications: Toward a Transcultural Political Economy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).

· Clarke, Judith, and Michael Bromley (eds.), International News in the Digital Age: East-West Perceptions of a New World Order (Routledge, 2012).

· Des Freedman, The Politics of Media Policy (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2008).

· Eyal, Gil, Ivan Szelenyi and Eleanor Townsley, Making Capitalism Without Capitalists: The New Ruling Elites in Eastern Europe (London: Verso, 1998).

· Graham, Stephen, and Simon Marvin, Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition (London, Routledge, 2001).

· Hackett, Robert, and Yuezhi Zhao (eds.), Democratizing Global Media: One World, Many Struggles (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).

· Hallin, Daniel, C and P. Mancini, Comparative Media Systems beyond the Western World (Cambridge, 2011).

· Hallin, Daniel, C., Paolo Mancini, Comparative Media Systems (Cambridge, 2004).

· Harvey, David, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005).

· Harvey, David, The Enigma of Capital (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

· Herman, Edward, and Robert McChesney, The Global Media: The New Missionaries of Global Capitalism (London: Cassell, 1997). · Iwabuchi, Koichi, Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism (Duke University Press, 2002).

· Jin, Dal Yong, Global Media Convergence and Cultural Transformation: Emerging Social Patterns and Characteristics (Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2011).

· Koltsova, Olessia, News Media and Power in Russia (Routledge, 2006).

· Lule, Jack, Globalization and Media (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012).

· McPhail, Thomas, Global Communications: Theories, Trends and Stakeholders (Blackwell, 2010).

· Mansell, Robin, and Marc Raboy, The Handbook of Global Media and Communication Policy (Blackwell, 2011).

· Martin-Barbero, Jusus, Communication, Culture and Hegemony: From the Media to Mediations, Trans. Elizabeth Fox and Robert A. White (Newbury Park, Sage, 1991).

· Mattelart, Armand, and Seth Siegelaub (eds.), Communication and Class Struggle, An Anthology in 2 Volumes (International General, 1979).

· McChesney, Robert, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy (New York: The New Press, 2013).

· Miller, Toby, et al, Global Hollywood 2 (London: BFI, 2006).

· Mosco, Vincent, and Dan Schiller (eds.), Continental Order? Integrating North America for Cybercapitalism (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001).

· Murdoch, Graham, and Janet Wasko, Media in the Age of Marketization (Hampton Press, 2007).

· Murphy, Patrick, and Kraidy, Marwan, Global Media Studies: Ethnographic Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2003).

· Paterson, Chris and Annabelle Sreberny, International News in the 21st Century (Hampton,

· Pendakur, Majunath, Indian Popular Cinema: Industry, Ideology and Consciousness (Hampton Press, 2003).

· Perelman, Michael, Steal This Idea (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002).

· Pradip, Thomas, and Jan Servaes (eds.), Intellectual Property Rights and Communications in Asia: Conflicting Traditions (Sage, 2006).

· Prashad, Vijay, The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (The New Press, 2007).

· Preston, William, Jr., Edward S. Herman and Herbert I. Schiller, The United States and Unesco: 1945-1985 (University of Minnesota Press, 1989).

· Robinson, Piers, The CNN Effect: The Myth of News, Foreign Policy, and Intervention (Routledge, 2007).

· Robinson, William, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World (John Hopkins, 2004).

· Schiller, Dan. How to Think About Information (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007).

· Schiller, Herbert I., Mass Communication and the America Empire, Second Edition (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992).

· Serb, Philip, The Al Jazeera Effect: How the New Global Media Are Reshaping World Politics (Potomac Books, 2008).

· Simpson, Christopher, Science of Coercion: Communication Research & Psychological Warfare 1945-1960 (Oxford University Press, 1994).

· Skair, Leslie, The Transnational Capitalist Class (Blackwell, 2001)

· Sparks, Colin, Globalization, Development and the Mass Media (Sage, 2007).

· Sparks, Colin, with Anna Reading, Communism, Capitalism and the Mass Media (Sage, 1998).

· Sussman, Gerald, and John A. Lent, Global Productions: Labour in the Making of the “Information Society” (Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, 1998).

· Symthe, Dallas, Dependency Road: Communication, Capitalism, Consciousness and Canada (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1981).

· Thussu, Daya, International Communication: Continuity and Change, 2nd Ed. (Arnold, 2006).

· Vincent, Richard, C., Kaarle Nordenstreng and Michael Traber (eds.), Toward Equity in Global Communication: MacBride Update (Hampton Press, 1999).

· Wasko, Janet, Graham Murdock, and Helena Sousa, The Handbook of Political Economy of Communications (Blackwell, 2011).

· Winant, Howard, The World Is a Ghetto: Race and Democracy since World War II (Basic Books, 2001).

· Winseck, Dwayne, and Dal Yong Jin, The Political Economies of Media: The Transformation of the Global Media Industries (London: Bloomsbury, 2011).

· Winseck, Dwayne, and Robert M. Pike, Communication and Empire: Media, Markets, and Globalization, 1780-1930 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007).

· Witheford, Nick-Dyer, Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism (University of Illinois Press, 2000).

· Zayani, Mohamed (ed.), The Al Jazeera Phenomenon: Critical Perspectives on New Arab Media (Paradigm Books, 2005).

· Zhao, Yuezhi, Communication in China: Political Economy, Power, and Conflict (Lanham & Littlefield, 2008).