IAMCR 2012 - Political Economy Section Call for Papers


IAMCR Durban 2012

Annual Conference of the
International Association for Media and Communication Research
Durban, South Africa, July 15-19

Theme: ‘South-North Conversations’

The Political Economy Section looks forward to the next IAMCR Conference and invites submissions (both individual proposals and collective panels) for the 2012 conference to be held at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) in Durban, South Africa, 15-19 July.

The conference will be held under the general theme, 'South-North Conversations'. The theme reflects the asymmetry of global communication flows, but without implying the negatives that usually accompany discussions of the 'digital divide'. The theme also calls for balanced and empowering narratives that do not regard those in ‘the South’ as victims primarily in need of handouts from the more affluent.

The general conference theme is therefore highly relevant for a cross-cutting Section such as Political Economy and the following conference general sub-themes seem particularly relevant for the section:

  1. Uneven access to technological, political and social capital;
  2. Issues of the so-called ‘digital divide’ post WSIS;
  3. Asymmetrical news and information flows;
  4. Trend lines and origins of innovations, apps and new media;
  5. The spectre or reality of cultural imperialism;
  6. Fighting back: empowerment of the local, the regional and integration into the global;
  7. Local languages – a growth area in media in the north and south;
  8. Media, development, democracy;
  9. Social media, challenge and advocacy;
  10. Users and service providers: north and south;
  11. Communication as a tool of empowerment of the marginalised and the stigmatized;
  12. Global media hegemony, regional hegemony and counter hegemony.

In addition to and/or in articulation with the conference sub-themes, the Political Economy Section also welcomes submissions on:

  1. Political economy of the Internet, social media, and mobile communications;
  2. Moral economies, gift economies and free culture/free economy;
  3. Media capital and financialization of corporate media;
  4. Public interest and public goods;
  5. Political economy of audiences;
  6. Political economy of journalism;
  7. Political economy of personal information;
  8. Power, media policy and regulation;
  9. Media, citizenship and democracy;
  10. Tracking and analyzing processes of de-commodification or de-marketization;
  11. Cultural and creative work in the context of digitization and global capitalism;
  12. Continuing crisis (financial, moral, others);
  13. Communication experiences of the OccupyWallStreet and Indignados around the world as counter hegemonic social agents.

Aiming to reflect the state of the art, the Section is particularly open to new theoretical approaches and empirical developments.


The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 14, 2012. Please note that this deadline will not be extended.

IAMCR's OCS system will open on December 1, 2011, and will close on February 14, 2012.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to individual applicants by their Section or Working Group Head no later than March 12, 2012.

On the same day, March 12, 2012, conference registration will open for bookings by participants.

For those whose abstracts are accepted, full conference papers are to be submitted via the IAMCR OCS by June 10, 2012.

Guidelines for Abstracts

Abstracts should be 300-500 words in length.

All abstract submissions must be made centrally via the Open Conference System (OCS).

The Political Economy Section accepts only one paper per author. Proposals should only be proposed to one section or working group.


General information on the conference:

For further information on the conference, please contact the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) or consult the Conference Organizers via the website at:


or by email at:


Information on the Political Economy Section:

For more information about the Political Economy Section and its plans for the Durban conference, please contact the coordinating team:

Chair: Helena Sousa
University of Minho, Portugal
Vice-Chair: Rodrigo Gómez
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico
Vice-Chair: Janet Wasko
University of Oregon, United States