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Media & Politics Spring 2014

Explanations for authoritarianism
by

Ed Webb

on 18 April 2017

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Transcript of Media & Politics Spring 2014

History
Culture?
Ideology
c1850
1900
1950
2000
Reform
Liberalism
Radicalism & Militarism
1967
Islamism
Arabism
Conservatism
Islamism
Al-Afghani
Abduh
Rida
Qutb
Revivalism
Reformism
Radicalism
Colonialism
Nationalism
Performance Failures
War
Demographics
Religion
Ethnicity
Tribalism
Urban/Rural
Class
Different, related paths of many peoples
Ethnic groups: Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Berbers...
Religious groups: Jews, Christians, Muslims, Zorastrians, Druze...
Emergence of competing nationalisms as empires decline: Zionism, Arab & Turkish nationalisms
Challenges for state legitimacy
Source: http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/maps.shtml
Source: http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/maps.shtml
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2048.html#us
"little rain, much oil, increasingly many (and therefore young) people" (44)

Population growth 2.2%, double in ~32 years.

More variation in per capita income than any other major region.

Just under 70% of world oil reserves. But note politics of revealed numbers (48-49).

Time horizons vary for how long reserves exploitable. Affect pricing preferences, urgency of alternatives.

Low production costs mean high rents.

Price shocks in early and late 70s linked to war & politics, lead to flood of revenues.

Manufacturing highly geographically concentrated.
"In no country was the rate of growth of output sufficient to keep up with the growth in the labor force--which was estimated to be between 5% and 7%--much less to significantly raise real wages. Even today, real wages and labor productivity in many countries are not markedly different from what they were in 1970" (58).
Problem of investment efficiency:
"For Algeria, for example, generating an additional dollar of output required twice as much investment during the 1970s as was the case in the labor-intensive, rapidly growing South Korean economy. Many economists believe that the culprit for the relative inefficiency of investment in the region can be found in government policies" (64)
Economic Growth and Structural Change
Coupon Clippers:
Bahrain
Kuwait
Libya
Oman Qatar
UAE
Oil Industrializers:
Algeria
Iran
Iraq
Saudi Arabia
Watchmakers:
Israel
Jordan
Syria
Tunisia
NICs:
Egypt
Morocco
Turkey
Agro-Poor:
Sudan
Yemen
From Richards, Waterbury, Cammett, Diwan (2013) A Political Economy of the Middle East (Westview)
Studying the Media in MENA
Fields (adapted from Hafez)
Link between politics/government and media
Link between society/challengers and media
Ownership, infrastructure, technology
Media processes
Media effects
Audiences
Concepts
Regulation, censorship, propaganda
Activism, investigation, public sphere
Capital, globalization
Professionalism, training, ethics, safety
Advertising, agenda-setting, framing
Markets, consumption, preferences
Not exhaustive
Platforms
What are the qualities of different platforms in terms of the above fields and concepts?
Television
Radio
Newspapers
Other print
Internet
Terrestrial
Satellite
Online
Broadcast versus many-to-many (social)
Major challenge: data
Is the medium the message?
Media, Democracy, Transitions
In transitions "the proper role of journalism-be it advocacy, partisanship, or impartiality-will be unclear" (O'Neil 1998, 10).
"the fundamental question is whether during transitional periods the media can serve as an instrument of both democratic consolidation and pluralization—tasks that may be at odds with each other" (O'Neil 1998, 10).
"It is often the media's defection from the authoritarian camp that seals the latter's fate. Another important factor in the media's impact on authoritarian transition is the declining ability of the state to direct electronic broadcasting, undermined by the increasingly global nature of electronic communication and the role of satellite dishes and private cable systems" (O'Neil 1998, 8).
"Demonstration effects refer to the process by which transition processes in one state influence the calculations of societal and state actors in another. Populations become informed about and encouraged by changes elsewhere and begin to press for change at home as well; elites become panicky over the downfall of autocrats abroad and in response become more conciliatory or reactionary, either of which may spark mass mobilization" (O'Neil 1998, 12)
Comparative experiences
What can we learn from the CEEs?
By 1989, events in Central and Eastern Europe were global news. The global media helped tip the dominos so that what happened in one country was not merely news for the world, but also undercut the rules of leader after leader by bolstering the public's growing belief that they could dare to question and by increasing the elite's sense that they could no longer control what happened in their countries (Curry 2010, 54)
cell phones, Twitter, and the Internet allow any daring individual to send messages to the outside world. This action may not stop rulers from brutal repression but does turn it into a globally known event, significantly raising the potential costs for repressive regimes (Curry 2010, 54)
Western media and democracy advocates were among the first who stepped in to aid the transition away from Communism and gave among the most effective democracy-building aid the West gave. Regime-backed and independent journalists received training as soon as Communist governments collapsed. Western media instituted programs to teach them not only methods of investigative journalism but also, and more importantly, the business operations of journalism so their papers and stations could be less dependent on the government (Curry 2010, 56)
the journalists who were trained did not take on the model they were taught by the Western trainers; instead, they perceived themselves standing with and serving as a platform for opposition to the rulers and their failings (Curry 2010, 56)
For state journalists, the pressure not to lie, when the truth was being broadcast by others, made them go public with their opposition to the status quo and support of the demonstrations (Curry 2010, 57)
Media in cross-cultural communication/media in revolutions
Pintak
Khamis
Karlekar
Journalists as change agents
Audiences and Opinion: What do Arab Publics Want?
Lust Ch. 6
Poll data: Arabs prioritize economic development, favor democracy, are skeptical about the US role in the region, and are divided about the proper role of religion in politics.
KEY: states have struggled to provide basic goods and services; political parties are weak; informal sector of economies and political life very developed and important. Networks
Civil society: what is it, why does it matter?
note this dynamic
Social movements & popular mobilization
Media roles?
Lust pp. 280-284
NB transnational networks
Citizen Journalism
Lynch in Hafez
Effects of Arab media: minimal or massive?
Media as political opportunity structure, not independent actor/variable?
agenda setting
framing
political opportunity structures
"Made for television" events
A forensic approach
Censorship
Who?
What?
How?
Why?
Is anything changing due to technological or political developments?
Amin & Eickelman both suggest internet & satellite TV will force change. Are they right? To what extent?
Fragmentation of authority? (Eickelman 42)
states
religious authorities
creators and publishers
Information or views that:
challenge orthodoxies
undermine legitimacy or acquiescence
contravene moral or other important values
?
Precensorship: control of the means of dissemination
economic tools - bonuses, promotions, firings, fines, withdrawal of accreditation, advertising
physical coercion - threats, violence
legal tools - prosecution (it helps to have flexible laws)
others?
Postcensorship: influence over producers
licensing, closure, seizure
Self-censorship: the most efficient, induced by the others
Arab Television
In what ways, if any, is the Arab television industry distinctive?
Guaaybess in Hafez
Orientalism problem
Al Jazeera & Al Manar not the whole of the industry!
Al Jazeera as "news channel of the South" (201)?
Al Manar as "terrorist organization" (202)
TV became commercial in 1970s
CNN impact in 1991 war --> deterritorialization of TV stations
Homogenization of content
100s of channels
Advertising
--> mostly aimed at wealthy GCC countries
--> TV & newspapers about even, get the bulk (207)
--> Mainly consumer goods similar to Europe
Lebanese television
Kraidy: Star Academy as political phenomenon
Notzold content study
news broadcasts of 6 channels
domestic news 3/4 of content
Al Manar an outlier in many respects
But others also reinforce sectarian group identities at expense of national identity
Driven by owners, audience, or both?
Entertainment-politics nexus?
"reality" television
Globalization --> format adaptation
Alternative view of public participation: voters get to decide
Different effects in different markets
"indirect articulations rather than direct causations" (55)
Satellite of love?
Audiences
Effects of satellite television
Group discussion questions
On other media
On governments
On ordinary citizens
Passive, Active, Interactive?
Is the focus of so much research on television justified/reasonable/effective?
Is there a transnational public sphere?
Amin & Kraidy in Hafez; Ghadbian; Horan; start of Lynch
Al Jazeera - worth all the fuss?
"The Arab public sphere interpreted each development through the filter of a narrative that had been finely tuned through years of public argument" (Lynch 2006, 172)
"The Bush administration did not face a generic, irrational hatred and mistrust of America in its campaign against Iraq - it faced a specific, deeply entrenched narrative about the preceding decade that almost guaranteed a negative reception for its arguments" (Lynch 2006, 174-5).
"The arguments in the Arab public sphere revealed genuine uncertainty and a real variety of viewpoints, despite an overwhelming consensus on the overarching narrative" (Lynch 2006, 175)
"The furious demonstrations and protests in March and April 2002 startled virtually everybody: not only regimes, but also the Arab public itself, which had come to expect its own impotence" (Lynch 2006, 176)
Note the diversity of voices, and preference for contrasts, in the guests invited to debate the run-up to the Iraq war, pp. 178-9. Note also new distinction between Iraqi people and regime (181).
"American and Arab television portrayed strikingly different wars" (Lynch 2006, 188):
Control Room
"My station is a threat to American media control" (Lynch 2006, 189)
Abdullah Schleifer, quoted on page 191 - Jazeera doesn't make up facts; but presenters do spin, due to emotional commitments.
After the war: shift from studio guests to call-in formats: "closest thing to a true public sphere in the history of the Arab world"? (Lynch 2006, 197).
Tunisia's Uprising
Before During After
Mass media
Social media
Regulation
Ownership
Effectiveness

Cases
Egypt
Before During After
Mass media
Social media
Regulation
Ownership
Effectiveness

Syria
Before During ...
Mass media
Social media
Regulation
Ownership
Effectiveness
Wedeen
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