Development Need Elevator Pitch: Based on Waisbord’s “family tree” of development perspectives, devise an idea for a development initiative that combines insights from the various traditions of development communication (e.g. modernization, participatory, empowerment, etc.).
1) Is there a way to use a “strategic narrative” to combat violent extremism? If so, how do you think this might work in practice?
2) What sorts of domestic “strategic narratives” do you think constrain the current administration in terms of foreign policy options and indeed, what the President can say about US foreign policy moving forward?
3) Do you think there are conflicting aspects of the “strategic narratives” that the US promotes around its internet governance policies? If so, why?
Monday, November 2 >>
1) We’ve read a lot about the concept of Internet governance and the ways in which values and ideas about politics are as much “baked into” internet architecture as they are represented in the politics of how it is governed. I would you like to consider how Internet Governance is important to other aspects of international communication careers and fields – e.g. development, journalism, diplomacy, intercultural relations. Pick something that appeals to you, and show how the topics we’ve discussed in internet governance intersect with your interest area in the broader IC field.
2) A thought-provoking (and related question): Should there be some form of internet technology and governance literacy? Given how central the internet is as a platform for politics, cultural, and social life – does the Internet require a different kind of citizenship responsibility?
Monday, October 26 >>
1) Why was the WSIS a significant development in the role of non-state actors in international organizations and governance? Describe this significance in the context of the difference between information and communication rights discussed in the Raboy article?
2) Instead of thinking about the governance of communication technology, let’s talk about the technology of governance. How does Livingston think the practice of governance has changed given the availability of new communication technologies and information flows?
3) DeNardis describes Internet architecture as “arrangements of power.” What does she mean by this (and by extension, what does she mean by “architecture”)?
Monday, October 19 >>
1) Powers and Jablonski are clearly concerned about the Information Industrial Complex and its effects on the governance of the Internet. What do you think is the biggest critical concern, given their coverage of government involvement, economic implications, and their assessment of multistakeholder governance?
2) We talked in class a lot about shifting our perspective to communication audiences, instead of a focus on message effects. Does an audience centric approach change your views of previous “critical” debates about media power, (e.g. media imperialism), or, does it only heighten the importance of what people “do” with mediated communication?
3) How might a focus on audience over messaging change the nature of how nation-states engage in mediated public diplomacy? (e.g – the anti-ISIS/ISIL campaign)
Monday, October 5 >>
1) The “global media system” seems more complicated than just the import and export of news and cultural products. What can we learn about this system from the presence of “informal” flows of media?
2) Do international news broadcasters contribute to a more enlightened global public sphere, or, do they reinforce local perspectives?
3) The idea of media globalization, through notions of flow and contra-flow, seems like a response to more blunt characterizations of media or cultural “imperialism.” Based on your read of Thussu, however, do you think “critical” perspectives are still important in understanding the consequences of media products circulating around the world?
Monday, September 28 >>
Do you think the globalization of communication flows has, perhaps counter-intuitively, prompted the *increased* relevance of the nation-state as international actor? Or, do you think that efforts to control or defend information sovereignty are ultimately doomed to fail?
Monday, September 21 >>
1) Does the fragmentation of media – including new content producers and a diversity of perspectives – suggest a different role for media in sustaining a “nation” as an “imagined community”?
2) If we accept the basic premise that nationalism is sustained by media in some way, does this suggest implications for foreign policy and national security?
3) How do diasporic audiences sustain their sense of collective identity and indeed, nationality, through media consumption and production?
Monday, September 14 >>
1) How might a theory from the IC readings be applied to help understand the context and set the stage for a practical application to efforts at countering ISIS/ISIL propaganda?
2) How might a theory from the IC readings help us to understand contemporary issues confronting international education?
3) Do current debates over internet technology governance reflect some of the ideas expressed in one (or more) of the theories discussed in the readings?
4) Does it matter how communication theories portray audiences (or targets, listeners, etc.) to communication? If so, why?
Monday, September 7 >>
1) For Powers and Jablonksi, what are the key tensions underscoring US information policy?
2) What was the driving argument for the NWICO? Who were the major stakeholders to the NWICO debate?
3) Historically, in what ways do you think that international communication has played in the development of international relations? You don’t need to be exhaustive.