Istanbul 2011 - Communication Policy and Technology Call for Papers

istanbulThe Communication Policy and Technology (CP&T) Section invites submissions for its open sessions at the IAMCR 2011 conference to be held in Istanbul (Turkey) from July 13-17. The IAMCR conference theme for 2011 is ‘Cities, Creativity, Connectivity’.

In the network society the media and telecommunication landscape of one-way broadcasting and two-way personal communication is transforming into a digitized, converged and interactive ecosystem, based on internet technologies and applications. This transformation has also driven the development of horizontal networks of interactive communication that connect local and global in chosen time. Castells labels this new form of socialized communication as ‘mass self-communication’, and sees it as a potential new medium for power and counter-power.

These changes in communication technologies co-evolve with fundamental transformations in cities and urban agglomerations, linked to globalisation and network infrastructures. In his theory of urbanism Castells characterises these transformation of cities in the network society on three bipolar axes. First - functionally speaking - the network society is organised around the opposition between the global and the local. Cities as communication systems are supposed to connect both. However, as these logics are conflicting, they disrupt cities from within when they attempt to respond to both, simultaneously. Second - in terms of meaning - our society is characterised by the opposing development of individuation and communalism. Because cities are big aggregates of individuals, forced to coexist, and communes are located in the metropolitan space, the divide between personality and communality brings intensified stress upon the social system of cities as communicative and institutionalising devices. Third - in terms of spatial form - the urbanised world is also caught up in a complex interplay between the ‘space of flows’ (i.e. hybrid space of separate geographical territories being linkup electronically in an interactive network) and the ‘space of places’ (i.e. physical space within the confines of geographical locality organizing experience and activity in everyday life). Hence urban environments do not disappear into the virtual networks, but are transformed in the interface between electronic communication and physical interaction.

The Call for Proposals by the IAMCR Communication Policy & Technology section takes this co-evolutionist perspective between cities and ICT as an entry point and metaphor for investigating and understanding the mutual shaping between society and communication technology. We invite papers that discuss policy concerns, regulatory developments, user practices, market trends and business strategies related to this kind of socio-technological co-evolution, framed within the overall conference theme of ‘Cities, Creativity, Connectivity’.

In addition to themes related to ICT and cities, we also invite papers and proposals for panels that address the following overall themes in relation to information and communication technologies and applications, from the perspective of policy, users/audiences and industry.


  1. Privacy, surveillance and vulnerability

    Mass self-communication and other forms of interaction via social media, mobile communication, internet-of-things technologies can give more autonomy to media users. At the same time the resulting amplified self-directed control over time, place and content of communication and interaction with many more people increases the chance of negative (but also positive) consequences and implies more responsibilities. This means that the vulnerability of people engaging in mass self-communication changes and possibly increases. This notion of ‘vulnerability’ refers to issues like privacy, surveillance, trust and security.

  2. Creativity, innovation and users

    Nowadays users are supposed to be in the driver’s seat of creative destruction - based on disruptive technologies - and of the co-creation of new media, content and technology. The lowering of thresholds for multi media content production, distribution, storage, retrieval and consumption is seen as an enabler for empowerment, especially in relation to do-it-yourself media and related craftsmanship. Various terms and concepts are used to classify the users depending on their involvement in technology innovation and content production (e.g. Nielsen 1-9-90 rule, produsers, lead users, pro-ams, co-creators, citizen journalists and warm experts). We invite papers that reflect upon, re-conceptualise and question current dominant visions and categorisations of users as innovators in the changing ICT landscape.

  3. Connectivity, inclusion and media literacies

    Connectivity deals with access (for instance, urban versus rural), but also with use and domestication. In the changing media environment of mass self-communication, new affordances of communication tools require a rethinking of digital exclusion-inclusion. The latter links in with the notion of digital literacy and skills, with different levels of capabilities, and with the way inclusion is (not) scripted into media technologies from a social shaping perspective. Finally we also invite papers that discuss connectivity in relation to different types of online and offline communities, in particular discussing the role of virtual social worlds and social network sites in human relations.

  4. Copyright, -left and -riot

    Digitalisation reverting cultural products to the immaterial and the internet facilitating total automation whereby digital products can be copied infinitely and distributed on a global scale are challenging the prevalent property regime in terms of cultural production fundamentally. Lobby organisations of the copyright industry are increasingly aggressive in their attempts to coerce users and fans back into the commodity exchange model and away from the prevalent gift economies online. Governments are being pressured into adopting legislation penalising copyright infringers and making ISPs liable for what occurs on their networks. Another strategy consists in collapsing piracy with filesharing and propagating a discourse that peer2peer networks and filesharing is per definition criminal and illegal. We invite papers that focus on discourses of copyright industries, innovative strategies of content producers, creative commons, audience research relating to downloading of digital copyright protected content, the consequences of state intervention for (online) privacy, or any other topic relating to the context set-out above.

Submission information

The CP&T section welcomes proposals for papers bearing on aforementioned and related issues by submitting an abstract (300 - 500 words). Abstracts should state the title as well as the methods or approaches used and introduce the empirical and theoretical material on which the paper is based. Besides the abstract title and text, each abstract must include title, author name(s), affiliation, institutional address and email address of (all) author(s).

The scholarly presentations of accepted submissions can take place in different types of sessions: Paper presentation sessions (i.e. 4-5 presenters with each around 12-15 minutes, requiring full paper submitted in time), High intensity sessions (i.e. 6-8 presenters with each around 5-7 minutes) or Poster sessions (i.e. presenting work individually through a poster).

Proposals for panels are also welcome. The proposal should have no more than five papers and needs to contain a framing text and the abstracts of all the papers. The framing text (max. 500 words excl. bio) contains the idea and goal of the full panel, how it fits in the CP&T section CfP, a listing of all paper titles with authors, and adding short bio-data of each individual author. It would also be recommended to suggest a panel chair and a discussant. The proposal framing text and the individual abstracts will be reviewed and based on this review we will accept, accept with revisions or decline the panel.

IAMCR accepts presentations in English, French and Spanish. However, it is requested that abstracts and panel proposals, if at all possible, be submitted in English. By rule, IAMCR does not permit submission of identical abstracts to more than one section/working group, and this policy is strictly enforced.

Submission of abstracts, panel proposals and (once accepted) full papers can only be done online through IAMCR Open Conference System (OCS) using the link to be found on the official Istanbul conference website. For more on the submission, registration, theme, location, etc., please go to the conference website.

The deadlines are as follows:

  • February 8, 2011: Submission of abstracts (papers and panel proposals will be assessed by double blind review)
  • March 25, 2011: Announcement of acceptances
  • June 3, 2011: Full papers due (max. 7500 words), in order to ensure that authors’ names and papers’ titles are included in final conference program. There is no second round of reviewing for acceptance.

If a proposal is accepted, the presenter must also be registered for conference participation, in order to be included in the final program of the Section. A CP&T best paper award will be granted to one of the presenters, based on the full papers submitted in time.

Additional questions on the CP&T sessions at the IAMCR 2011 conference (e.g. on panels) may be addressed to:

Bart Cammaerts


Jo Pierson

For general information on the CP&T section, you can contact:

Section Chair: Jo Pierson
Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Free University of Brussels
Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT)
Pleinlaan 2 - B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
e: jo.pierson[AT]

Vice-Chair: Bart Cammaerts
London School of Economics
Department of Media and Communications (Media@LSE)
Houghton Street - WC2A 2AE London, UK
e: b.cammaerts[AT]

Vice-Chair: Maria Michalis
University of Westminster
Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI)
309 Regent Street - W1B 2UW London, UK
e: m.michalis[AT]