Section Head Election 2018 - Call for candidates and statements

Political Economy Section

The IAMCR Political Economy Section will run elections for one section chair and two vice chair positions during its business meeting during IAMCR 2018 in Eugene.

The current officers of the Section, chair Rodrigo Gomez and vice-chairs Peter Thompson and Peichi Chung have been in office since 2014. Rodrigo and Peter will be running for re-election in their current positions.

Any IAMCR member who would like to serve as an officer of the Political Economy Section must submit their name and institutional position, a statement of no more than 500 words (e.g. a bio and motivation statement), to the current officers (see contact details below) with a copy to IAMCR General Secretary Gerard Goggin gerard.goggin (at) and to the IAMCR secretariat membership (at), by 8th May 2018.

The section will consider adding a position for a third vice chair during its business meeting at the 2018 conference.

Section officers must be current IAMCR members, either directly or through an IAMCR institutional member who has listed them among its IAMCR representatives.

You can find the election rules at:

  • Chair: Rodrigo Gómez - rgomez (at)
  • Vice-Chair: Peter Thompson - peter.thompson (at)
  • Vice-Chair: Peichi Chung - peichichung (at)

Candidates and statements

For Chair:

  • Rodrigo Gómez (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa, MX)
    (For reelection)

For Vice-chair:


Rodrigo Gómez (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa, MX)

I would like to put forward my candidacy to renew my position as Chair of the Political Economy Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research. I have been Chair for the last four years, and I was a Vice-Chair from 2010 to 2014.  I have also been an active member of the organization since 2002. During that time, I experienced fruitful debates and discussions with colleagues from around the world, addressing important issues related to our field of study. From my perspective, our section is one of the more international sections, where the dialogue involving the Global South and Global North has enriched our research and our epistemological starting points. At the same time, I have also witnessed the evolution of important research networks between colleagues, which began during and after our section sessions and parties.  The Political Economy section should continue to promote the creation of these spaces for interactions, as they can intensify the dialogue between the Global South and Global North.

We have also experienced a growing number of submissions and sessions for the latest conferences, and I think that we have reached another level in terms of the quality of our work and discussions. Thus, I think that we should continue working toward a strong peer-review process (as the IAMCR International Council is proposing), but with particular attention paid to the different ways to communicate knowledge from a cultural diversity perspective. In addition, I will continue to strive for no more than two parallel sessions during conferences.  Another aspect that we have been doing during the last four years was promoting dialogue between our members and trying to generate collegiate spaces to generate ideas to create better practices in our section. As result of that collegiality, we launched a Facebook page to share our work, news and conferences that are related with Political Economy and Communications.

Thinking about the next four years, I would like to keep working with my colleagues to strengthen the field of Political Economy of Communication by means of more global projects. At the same time, I propose to open a third vice-chair. The idea behind this position arose because the work related with the organization of the section programme and the peer review process needs more help. This decision is also being driven by the idea to accomplish a full peer-review process and manage the Online Conference System platform of the IAMCR. I think is important to consider gender and regional representation among the section chair/vice-chair roles. Of course, this call has to be discussed with our membership in Eugene.

Finally, I think that our on-line journal, The Political Economy of Communication, has to become indexed and we need to reinforce its presence with other academic communities. We also need to explore the possibility of publishing articles in other IAMCR-recognized languages. If I am elected as Chair, I would work towards these goals, and especially toward intensifying the dialogue involving the Global South and Global North. 

Benjamin J. Birkinbine, University of Nevada, Reno

I am submitting my application for the new Vice-Chair position of the Political Economy section of IAMCR.  I have been attending the IAMCR conference since 2011, and I consider the Political Economy section my intellectual home.  I always come away from the conference energized by the intellectual exchanges and the friendships formed.  I’ve also had the pleasure of working with many of the members of the section to produce a co-edited book (along with Rodrigo Gómez and Janet Wasko) called Global Media Giants.  I have also published work in the section’s journal The Political Economy of Communication, and I was awarded the Dallas Smythe award for my scholarship in 2014 at the conference in Hyderabad.  Furthermore, I’ve become more involved with the section and the conference over the years, and I understand the rigors of planning the conference.

If elected, I would contribute to the section in at least a few concrete ways.  First, I think my standing as a junior scholar positions me well for recruiting new members into the section.  I would devote time to actively recruiting new members into the section, which could bring new and diverse perspectives into the section while building on its strong foundations.

Second, I think the section can improve when it comes to responding to constructive criticism. While the section has been generally open and receptive of criticism, I think we could be more transparent about decision-making processes or how the section is actively responding to suggestions or critiques.  Doing so will help us move forward without alienating those who feel as though the section is not addressing their concerns.

Finally, one of the biggest strengths of IAMCR in general is that the organization is truly international, and it remains committed to elevating the voices of otherwise underserved populations.  I think the political economy section has done relatively well in this regard, but I still think we can improve.  While those who can attend the conference each year will vary, I would commit to using my platform to actively push for policies in the section that ensure the presence of diverse voices on panels.

Peter A. Thompson (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)

I would like to seek re-nomination and re-election as co-vice -chair of the IAMCR Political Economy section.

I have been involved with the IAMCR since 2001. I highly value the collegial exchange of research with fellow members from around the world which the organization makes possible. As a critical scholar, I am committed to praxis and the principle that our research should not just passively critique media systems and society but actively help promote progressive change.

The IAMCR’s Political Economy section provides an important space where critical researchers can support each other’s work. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve as section vice-chair over the past 4 years.  During that time my section activities have included:

  • Assisting Rodrigo Gomez and Peichi Chung in organizing abstract reviews and planning the sessions for the annual conferences.
  • Developing the revised criteria for reviewing political economy section abstracts, including consideration of whether the research gives voice to under-represented/subaltern groups, and/or promotes critical praxis.
  • In conjunction with co-editor, Wayne Hope (and the editorial board), consolidating The Political Economy of Communication journal. This is now entering its sixth volume of publication: 

If the membership supports my continued role within the Political Economy Section, there are several issues which I would like the section to consider. These include:

  • Reviewing the composition of the section chair/vice-chair arrangement. I think recent questions raised by colleagues about the proposed third vice-chair position are justified and I fully support the section having the opportunity to debate this. Something I think is important to consider here is gender and regional representation among the section chair/vice-chair roles.
  • Based on feedback I received from a member, I would suggest we need to refine the abstract review process and ensure that, where submissions are declined, constructive feedback is provided through the Online Conference System.
  • Committing to annual Political Economy section business meetings at the conferences. Even if we have no official electoral business to conduct, I think these are useful opportunities to consult with colleagues on general section activities and provide the pretext for a section social event.
  • Review The Political Economy of Communication journal and explore ways of increasing submissions and publications based on annual conference papers. Long term, I also think we should explore the possibility of publishing articles or perhaps special journal editions in other IAMCR-recognised languages.