Braga 2010 - Communication Policy & Technology Section Call for Papers


Communication Policy and Technology (CP&T) Section
International Association for Media and Communication Research
28th Annual Conference, July 18-22, 2010, Braga (Portugal)
Communication and Citizenship: Rethinking Crisis and Change

The Communication Policy and Technology (CP&T) Section of the IAMCR invites the submission of abstracts bearing on the Conference theme as well as on the Section sub-theme: 'Citizen Participation through Technology, Access and Policy'.

The media and technology landscape as well as relevant communication policies are changing fundamentally, with a shift from mass media and personal media to media for mass self-communication. The technological facilities for mediated communication are proliferating and becoming increasingly fragmented as a result of convergence and the emergence and rapid spread of new media and internet technologies like interactive digital broadcasting, mobile technologies, social computing, internet-of-things and - more recently - cloud computing. Within this transitional digital media ecosystem researchers increasingly aim to understand how participation by people and communities can (still) take a central position and to what end. How can citizens and/or consumers be empowered in participation through ICT design, usages and policy? Or what are the threats and constraints for people to become disempowered in a convergence culture? Three main areas of user (dis)empowerment are being identified as themes of special interest for CP&T section: (1) market and state ‘feudalisation’, (2) privacy and surveillance, and (3) inclusion and media literacies.

The first area of concern relates to the ever increasing ‘feudalisation’ of ICT applications and services by market forces and interests. Besides this, some states are also very active in controlling, monitoring and censoring the internet. This all has serious consequences for the opportunities and potentialities of ICT enabled participation and empowerment. In this regard the debate on net neutrality and its consequences for freedom of speech, access to information, etc. is highly relevant, but also issues of copyright in relation to ownership of user generated content or the posting of copyright protected material on blogs and web 2.0 sites, the share culture, etc.

The second focus area of privacy and surveillance is of course to some extent linked to the previous one. This refers to enhanced profiling and data mining practices by private and public organisations (e.g. behavioural advertising, digital footprint, deep-packet inspection technology, etc.), combined with the blurring of boundaries between public and  private sphere in the co-creation and ‘produsage’ practices by different types of users (e.g. lead users, citizen journalists,...).

A third area of focus deals with inclusion and multiple media literacies. This perspective links in with notions of digital participation that go beyond access. In the changing media environment, new affordances of communication tools require a reconfiguration of digital exclusion-inclusion. We need to look at different levels of capabilities, but also how inclusion is (not) built into specific media and technologies from a human-centred design perspective. At the same time this also means increasing the reach, breadth and depth of digital media and technologies across all domains of society through multiliteracies. The question remains however to what extent inclusion is always empowering, or can inclusion also lead to disempowerment. Empirical, theoretical and analytical work on these three and other related issues will form the central thrust of presentations in the CP&T section at the 2010 Braga conference.


The CP&T section welcomes abstracts (300 - 500 words) from scholars of any academic discipline bearing on aforementioned and related issues. 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 submission includes author name(s), affiliation, institutional address and email address of (all) author(s). The abstracts can only be submitted via the official conference abstracts and registration site.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is January 31, 2010. The papers will be assessed and provisionally accepted on the basis of the abstracts. You will be informed whether or not your abstract is accepted by March 15, 2010. The full papers (max. 7500 words) are due April 30, 2010, in order to ensure that the authors’ names and papers’ titles are included in the final conference program.

Key submission guidelines:

  • Deadline abstracts: January 31, 2010
  • Announcement of acceptances: March 15, 2010
  • Deadline full papers: April 30, 2010
  • IAMCR accepts presentations in English, French and Spanish. However, it is requested that abstracts, if at all possible, be submitted in English
  • Individual abstracts may only be submitted to a single section/working group. Please do not submit the same abstract to two or more different IAMCR sections/working groups.

Additional questions (e.g. on panels) may be addressed to Maria Michalis (m.michalis[AT] or Jo Pierson (jo.pierson[AT]

Chairs: Jo Pierson and Hopeton S. Dunn (on leave, serving as acting Secretary General, IAMCR)

Vice-chairs: Maria Michalis and Bart Cammaerts