PUBPOL 667: Media Globalization & Foreign Policy

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Winter 2005
Credit Hours

Satellite television. The Internet. Text messaging. They have changed politics, economics and even cultures themselves. Media prophet Marshall McLuhan predicted television would unite the peoples of the world, but recent years have seen massive urban renewal in McLuhan’s “Global Village” with increasingly fragmented sources of information providing us with very different views of each other. The implications are profound. The course will examine many aspects of this new media landscape: the growth of corporate media monopolies in the West and the rise of aggressive new rivals abroad; the role of newly independent media outlets in the developing world and their impact on attitudes in budding democracies; and the emergence of the new “virtual” public sphere that is changing the very concept of identity. How does the presence of live cameras in every corner of the world influence U.S. policymaking? In what ways do alternative media sources shape public opinion abroad? How do NGOs use the media to drive government engagement? What are the public diplomacy implications for those charged with waging the “war of ideas”? How does this new media order impact multinational corporations? These are some of the many questions that will be address by this course. Readings will include Soft Power by Joseph Nye, recent journal articles and research studies, as well as real-time news monitoring, the examination of web sites and other media sources. Case studies will include U.S. intervention in Bosnia, the Darfur crisis, and media reform in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.