In advanced Western democracies, the media perform a major role. Freedom of
expression is well established in the West and journalists are vigorous players on
the political scene. They are sometimes portrayed as the ‘fourth branch of
government’ or the ‘fourth estate’, rivalling the three official branches of political
power. Television and the press can’t actually do what the other three branches
do, but the way in which they help to shape attitudes makes them very significant
in the political process. We
Political systems are shaped by the societies in which they function. For this reason, it is helpful to know something about the historical, geographical, social and economic settings against which they operate. It is also helpful to understand something of the values and ideas which have mattered and continue to matter to those who inhabit any individual country. This book examines the background factors that help to shape the way in which political life and processes operate in Britain and America. In particular, it examines the similarities and differences in the political culture of the countries. Constitutions describe the fundamental rules according to which states are governed, be they embodied in the law, customs or conventions. Liberties and rights are of especial concern in liberal democracies, which claim to provide a broad range of them. The book examines the protection of liberties in both countries, in particular the right of freedom of expression. In advanced Western democracies, the media perform a major role. The book deals with the impact on political life of the two major mass media: the press and television. Elections are the main mechanism for expressing the public's collective desires about who should be in government and what the government should do. The book examines a number of issues about the functioning of elections in two democracies, looking at the electoral system, and the way in which voters behave and the influence upon their voting.
This book asks who gets to exercise free speech and who does not, and examines
what happens when powerful voices think they have been silenced. It asks how the
spaces and structures of 'speech' – mass media, the lecture theatre,
the public event, the political rally and perhaps most frequently the internet –
shape this debate. It explores the long histories of this contemporary moment,
to think about how acts such as censorship, boycotts and protests around free
speech developed historically and how these histories inform the present. The
book first explores two opposing sides in this debate: starting with a defence
of speech freedoms and examining how speech has been curbed and controlled, and
countering this with an examination of the way that free speech has been
weaponised and deployed as a bad faith argument by people wishing to commit
harm. It then considers two key battlefields in the free speech wars: first, the
university campus and secondly, the internet. This book is the first to explore
this moment in the free speech wars. It hopes to equip readers to navigate this
complex, highly charged topic: rather than taking a side in the debate, it
encourages the reader to be suspicious – or at least sceptical – of the way that
this topic is being framed and articulated in the media today. The free speech
wars should act as context, provocation, stimulation and – hopefully – a route
through this conflict.
This book argues that punk and post-punk, whatever their respective internal stylistic heterogeneity, enjoyed 'sociological reality' in Samuel Gilmore's and Howard Becker's sense. It elaborates the concept of 'music worlds', contrasting it with alternatives from the sociological literature. In particular it contrasts it with the concepts 'subculture', 'scene' and 'field'. The book then outlines a number of concepts which allow us to explore the localised process in which punk took shape in a sociologically rigorous manner. In particular it discusses the concepts of 'critical mass' and 'social networks'. The book also applies these concepts to the London punk world of 1976. It considers how talk about punk migrated from face-to-face networks to mass media networks and the effects of that shift. Continuing the discussion of punk's diffusion and growth, the book considers how punk worlds took shape in Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. In addition, however, the book offers a more technical analysis of the network structures of the post-punk worlds of the three cities. Furthermore, extending this analysis, and combining qualitative and quantitative forms of analysis, the book considers how activities in different local post-punk worlds were themselves linked in a network, constituting a national post-punk world.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the European Union (EU) stands out as an important regional organization. This book focuses on the influence of the World Bank on the EU development cooperation policy, with special emphasis on the Lomé Convention. It explains the influence of trade liberalisation on EU trade preferences and provides a comparative analysis of the content and direction of the policies developed towards the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), the Mediterranean, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. It looks at the trade-related directorates and their contribution to the phenomenon referred as 'trade liberalisation'. This includes trends towards the removal or elimination of trade preferences and the ideology underlying this reflected in and created by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organisation (GATT/WTO). The book examines the role of the mass media because the media are supposed to play a unique role in encouraging political reactions to humanitarian emergencies. The bolting on to development 'policy' of other continents, and the separate existence of a badly run Humanitarian Office (ECHO), brought the lie to the Maastricht Treaty telling us that the EU really had a coherent development policy. The Third World in general, and Africa in particular, are becoming important components in the EU's efforts to develop into a significant international player. The Cotonou Agreement proposes to end the preferential trade margins accorded to non-least developed ACP states in favour of more liberal free trade agreements strongly shaped by the WTO agenda.
James Baldwin, the Religious Right, and the Moral
In the 1980s, James Baldwin recognized that a major transformation had occurred in the
socio-political functions of religion. His critique adapted accordingly, focusing on the
ways in which religion—particularly white evangelical Christianity—had morphed into a
movement deeply enmeshed with mass media, conservativepolitics, and late capitalism.
Religion in the Reagan era was leveraged, sold, and consumed in ways never before seen,
from charismatic televangelists, to Christian-themed amusement parks, to mega-churches.
The new movement was often characterized as the “religious right” or the “Moral Majority”
and was central to both Reagan’s political coalition as well as the broader culture wars.
For Baldwin, this development had wide-ranging ramifications for society and the
individual. This article draws on Baldwin’s final major essay, “To Crush the Serpent”
(1987), to examine the author’s evolving thoughts on religion, salvation, and
transgression in the context of the Reagan era.
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Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps, Lasse Heerten, Arua Oko Omaka, Kevin O'Sullivan, and Bertrand Taithe
This rhetoric and the visual connections were of vital importance. Right from the
start, when these images began arriving in Western publics, published in massmedia
outlets, they were read with references to what we – at least now –
call the Holocaust. In the period, something that may be dubbed ‘Holocaust
memory’ was beginning to form. Already then, the images of the liberation of
the camps from 1945, taken by soldiers or photographers that accompanied
Examining the ways in which the BBC constructed and disseminated British national identity during the second quarter of the twentieth century, this book focuses in a comprehensive way on how the BBC, through its radio programmes, tried to represent what it meant to be British. It offers a revision of histories of regional broadcasting in Britain that interpret it as a form of cultural imperialism. The regional organisation of the BBC, and the news and creative programming designed specifically for regional listeners, reinforced the cultural and historical distinctiveness of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The BBC anticipated, and perhaps encouraged, the development of the hybrid ‘dual identities’ characteristic of contemporary Britain.
This book is an in-depth examination of the relations between Ireland and the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) between the end of the Second World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It explores political, diplomatic, economic, media and cultural issues. Before embarking upon the journey in the archives of the Stasi, it is necessary to give a picture on the relations between Ireland and the GDR to set the scene. The first part of the book is an analysis of the political, economic and cultural links between the two countries, and also perceptions and portrayals by the media. The second part is devoted to the long and extraordinary process of establishing diplomatic relations between Ireland and the GDR. It focuses on intelligence activities. The activities include: reading and listening about Ireland and Northern Ireland; spying on Ireland; and recording information on Northern Ireland in the central databank for persons. They also include: watching the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the Irish National Liberation Army and British Army of the Rhine. Thus, documents and findings are presented in a rather thematic way, except the history of Irish terrorist activities in West Germany. This approach has the advantage of showing how an intelligence service actually operates.