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Магистерская программа «Сравнительная политика Евразии»

Media in Contemporary Politics and Society

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
1-й курс, 3, 4 модуль


Course Syllabus


Media and other means of communication are more and more pervasive in our societies. Different spheres of society – from politics to healthcare to culture – are leaving more and more “digital traces” that are becoming available globally. The society has not yet found ways to cope with and make use of this abundance of channels of communication / information storage and the huge data they carry. However, this phenomenon is already influencing elections, mobilizing grassroots initiatives, and changing political regimes.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • to get acquainted with the latest findings in the sphere of media-political relations and to learn to analyze empirical evidence in this sphere.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • To understand relation between politics, communication and media / ICTs in a comparative perspective
  • to see how communication and its content are getting increasingly important
  • to understand the structure of media industries and to gain critical distance towards them
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Comparative & global vision of communication and politics
    Mutual awareness in the globalized world and elements of comparative vision. Interconnectedness in the globalized world and elements of global vision. Global information and telecommunication, its main concepts, influence on politics and society. Information society, digitalization and “datification” of communication.
  • Democracy performance and media control
    Comparing the democratic performance of semi-presidential regimes in the post-communist region. Effects of media control on political systems. Specific features of post-communist countries media-political configurations. Basics of media landscapes in Kazakhztan and Azrerbaijan.
  • Comparing media systems
    Hallin and Mancini’s definition of media systems. Typology of media systems. Media system features beyond Europe and North America. Limitations of media system approach. Basics of media landscapes in the middle East. Media ownership and political control in Kyrgyzstan and Moldova. Media diversity. Media and Middle East regime changes: beyond Arab Spring. The role of Internet in regime change and political change.
  • Media & ICT regulation worldwide
    Policy cycle and its elements. Specific features of media and communication policies. Global character of communication and its influence on respective policies. Basics of international regulation in the sphere of media and communication.
  • Creating a media policy design
    Developing a media policy proposal in small groups. Structure of policy proposal. Determining the sphere of regulation, the value to be defended and the problem to be solved. Specifying indices of success and instruments of its measurement. Specifying policy instruments and their cost-benefit analysis. Student presentations.
  • Media and political participation
    Forms of political participation. Contentious and non-contentious participation. Elections, social movements, protests and other forms. Media, internet, communication and their role in political participation. Information, mobilization, emotional support and other functions of media for political participation. Media and political participation (Reading class). Social movements, protest and conditions of their emergence. Media and internet as pre-conditions. Social media and social movements on the Post-Soviet space and beyond.
  • Media and elections
    Elections in traditional media environment. Changes brought by the Internet, influence of internet on news production and dissemination. Dissemination bots, algorithms, changes in authorship, verification and trust. Scandals around US elections 2016 (Cambridge Analytica, leakages of e-mails and SNS personal data and issues of privacy). Media and elections (Reading class). Predicting elections with online data: cases, achievements and limitations. Good fit with big data. Problems with overfitting and volatility of trends.
  • Experimental research on online censorship
    Types of online content filtering and respective regulations worldwide. The specific case of China. Chinese media system and Chinese internet surveillance system.
  • Fake news, online deception and other harmful content
    Echo chambers, filter bubbles, misinformation, disinformation, fraudulent and fake news. Dangerous information. Political hate speech and cyberbullying, its relation to offline political conflicts and violence. Hateful, divisive, uncivil and indecent content. Fake news, online deception and other harmful content (Reading class). Relation between bots and fake news. Bot and fake news detection: approaches, achievements and limitations.
  • E-government, e-democracy and open governmental data
    Concepts and elements of e-government and e-democracy. International indices of e-government, their structure, methodology, and limitations. E-government, e-democracy and open governmental data (team work). Developing a design for comparative research of e-government and related media topics in small groups. Structure and elements of research design. Specific features of comparative design. Quantitative and qualitative approaches to cross-country comparison. Student presentations.
  • Post-Soviet media development
    Definition of media, mass media and mass communication. Main stages of media development in Europe. Russian media history in the context of European media history. Soviet media: main features. Post-Soviet media transformation in Russia. Dissolution of the Soviet media and communication space. Post-Soviet media development (reading class). Media industry and media ownership trends in contemporary Russia. Traditional media re-nationalization and developing Internet control and regulation. Ukrainian conflict and its influence on the Russian media space. Basics of Ukrainian media landscape. Comparing coverage of the Ukrainian conflict in Russian and Ukrainian media.
  • Designing an online experiment for political communication comparative research
    Defining suitable research questions and comparable entities and features. Defining control and experimental groups and specifying exposure. Student presentations.
  • Designing a web application & service for e-participation
    Specifying a socially important goal. Structure and elements of app idea brief. Student presentations.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Final exam
  • non-blocking Class work
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.7 * Class work + 0.3 * Final exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Croucher, S. M., & Cronn-Mills, D. (2015). Understanding Communication Research Methods : A Theoretical and Practical Approach. New York, N.Y.: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=873087

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Baybars-Hawks, B. (2015). New Media Politics : Rethinking Activism and National Security in Cyberspace. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1077486
  • Fackler, M., & Fortner, R. S. (2014). The Handbook of Media and Mass Communication Theory. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=716712
  • Simon, J. (2015). The New Censorship : Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom. New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=860441
  • Zasurskiĭ, I. (2016). Media and Power in Post-Soviet Russia. [N.p.]: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1360892