Communication Policy and Technology Section - Call for Papers 2020

The call for papers below is an extraordinary reopening of the original Beijing call for papers for authors who did not submit to the Beijing conference but want their work considered for Tampere. 

The Communication Policy and Technology (CP&T) Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites the submission of abstracts of papers and proposals for panels for the 2020 Congress of the Association, which will be held from 12 to 16 July, 2020 at Tampere University in Tampere. Submissions for this extraordinary reopening will be accepted from Monday 17 February, 2020 until Monday 2 March 2020 at 23:59 UTC

IAMCR conferences address many diverse topics defined by our 33 thematic sections and working groups. We also propose a single central theme to be explored throughout the conference with the aim of generating and exploring multiple perspectives in plenary sessions and in some of the sessions of the sections and working groups. The general conference theme for 2020 is “Reimagining the Digital Future: Building Inclusiveness, Respect and Reciprocity”.

General theme of the conference

The central theme for 2020 is “Reimagining the Digital Future: Building Inclusiveness, Respect and Reciprocity”. At the critical juncture of the second decade of the 21st century, the world is facing tremendous challenges, such as sharp income and wealth inequities, a divisive international community, dysfunctional media, an increasingly fragmented digital culture and an accelerating environmental crisis. We witness growing populism and protectionism and a dissolving consensus on global engagement and international collaboration, as well as deepening technological contestation in digital media and artificial intelligence between the world’s two economic powerhouses. We also witness a sharp decline of the quality of national and international information flows as a result of widespread misinformation facilitated by social media.

These developments pose urgent questions and challenges for media and communications scholars. What are the reasons for the division, gaps and fragmentation we now see? What roles have digital media communication played in these developments at both the local and global levels? What values should inform our proposals for addressing them. This year’s conference aims to respond to those challenges by re-examining the roles and patterns of global communication while including local voices, seeking critical reflections on the relationship between them, and exploring feasible agendas for a shared digital future based on inclusiveness, respect and reciprocity.

Organised by Tampere University , but built on the foundation already set by Tsinghua University and XJTLU, IAMCR 2020 is set to bring together different perspectives on how multi-stakeholders of the global and local communication and media spaces negotiates among heterogeneous communities and institutions in the hope for building an inclusive, harmonious and respectful digital future. 

CP&T Call

The Communication Policy and Technology Section focuses on the role of policy (broadly defined) in the development of media and communication technologies, both analogue and digital, in past, current and future societies.

For the IAMCR 2020 conference in Tampere we invite papers that explore how the general theme about reimagining the digital future by building inclusiveness, respect and reciprocity relates to media and communication policy and technology. We are interested in papers related to media, communication technologies and online platforms, ranging from print-cultures to online applications and the internet of things in different domains of society. Over the last decade, the relations between (state and regional) institutions, citizens, and corporations have been fundamentally reconfigured. On the one hand, this development is accelerated and complicated by the rapid rise of transnational digital media platforms and their role in public discourses. On the other hand, we witness the emergence of new social (and populist) movements, often related to new modes of governance and participation. As a consequence, the boundaries between culture, communication and politics are being reconfigured and policy struggles to keep up with the dynamic changes in all societal spheres.

The CP&T section therefore invites submissions that critically engage with these issues from a policy and technology perspective.

We welcome both papers and panel proposals addressing the following themes that fit in the general call for papers and are relevant to our section:

  • Big Data and its implications for privacy, inclusiveness, respect etc.;
  • Policies and debates around artificial intelligence and its ethical and social implications, including bias, discrimination, transparency and responsibility in different contexts;
  • The increasing levels of automation, algorithms and quantification in different social domains (e.g. health, social welfare, finance, news and entertainment production) and its ethical and social implications;
  • The use of (predictive and punitive) control systems in political and legal decision making;
  • Digital sovereignty and the challenges for global internet governance;
  • Policies and research into the digital divide, media literacy, access and inclusion programmes etc.;
  • Global and national media and communication governance and their role in promoting pluralism and diversity;
  • International policies (e.g. trade policies and the resulting tensions between countries such as China and the US) and their implications for communication and media practices
  • Historical development of communication and media policies in diverse regions and countries;
  • Comparative analysis of different policy regimes, their implementations and implications;
  • The effectiveness of international policies and laws related to ICTs and the Internet in different regions of the world;
  • The roles played by citizens, communities and organizations (both locally and globally) in shaping communication and media policies;
  • Media and online governance regarding "fake news", social network bots, online harassment, hate speech, and cyberbullying, particularly as it relates to gender, race, class, ethnicity, nationality etc.;
  • Policies and policy debates around recent and future communication technologies, including blockchain, 5G, IPv6, etc.;
  • Policies related to online advertising and its implications for consumers and their privacy;
  • Policies and debates around public service obligations, pluralism and diversity, convergence and net neutrality in broadcasting and internet/telecommunications services;
  • National and regional policy initiatives, e.g. China's Belt and Road Initiative, ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) etc.

In addition, we warmly invite submissions for a joint session with the Emerging Scholars Network Section. Emerging scholars who are current or recent PhDs, and are tackling issues within the scope of the CP&T section, are welcome to submit their research. Individual submissions for this joint session should be submitted to the Emerging Scholars​ Network Section, including ESN/CPT in the title field.

The CP&T section may also sponsor a session with the Global Media Policy Working Group if enough abstracts of themes relevant to both our sections are submitted. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for a joint CPT/GMP session.

Please note that the CPT section does not cover all the spectrum of communication technology-related research. As such, it is not meant to be the primary submission venue for proposals which focus only on the role of technology for political communication (e.g. campaigning), on human-computer-interaction (e.g. user research without policy implication), on the political economy of technology without a clear connection to policy (e.g. media ownership and concentration) and similar topics without a clear policy dimension. Please note that, depending on the number of submissions received, we may not be able to redirect proposals covering such topics and submitted to CPT to more appropriate sections or working groups of IAMCR.

Submission of Abstracts

Accepted CPT submissions will take place in two types of sessions: individual paper sessions (i.e. 4-5 presenters with 12-15 minutes each followed by a discussant) and panel sessions (4-5 papers on a single theme).  All abstracts must be submitted at

Individual paper submissions

The CP&T section welcomes abstract proposals of between 300 and 500 words for papers in line with the conference and CP&T themes.

Abstracts should contain a title, main question or research problem, your theoretical framework, the method(s) used, and summarise the findings and their policy relevance.

Panel submissions

Panel proposals must include a panel proposal plus 4-5 paper abstracts of 300-500 words. Please check carefully the IAMCR guidelines for panel proposals.

Submission guidelines

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words. All abstracts must be submitted at Abstracts sent to the section chairs will not be accepted.

It is expected that authors will submit only one (1) abstract. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same author, either individually or as part of any group of authors. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to more than one section or working group. Any such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected. Authors submitting them risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

After a first review by the section chairs, submitted abstracts fitting the scope on the section and fulfilling the necessary requirements will be evaluated by a double-blind review on the basis of: (1) theoretical contribution, (2) methods, (3) quality of writing, (4) literature review, (5) relevance of the submission to the work of the CP&T section and communication/technology/media policy, and (6) originality and/or significance of the work.

If a proposal is accepted, the presenter must also register for the conference. Only registered participants will be included in the final conference programme.

Prior to the conference a completed paper should be submitted to Session Chairs and uploaded to the IAMCR’s submission platform.

As in previous years, a CP&T best paper award prize may be awarded. Only full papers submitted in advance of the conference, and by the full paper deadline (to be announced) qualify for consideration.


We welcome papers and presentations in English, French and Spanish.

Please note that if you wish to present in French or Spanish, we will ask you to prepare English language slides to facilitate communication. The chairs can provide further information.

See important dates and deadlines to keep in mind


For further information on the CPT themes, submissions, panels and on the CP&T section please contact:

  • Co-Chair: Francesca Musiani (francesca.musiani [at], CNRS, France.
  • Co-Chair: Julia Pohle (julia.pohle [at], WZB, Germany.
  • Vice-Chair: Weiyu Zhang (viyucheung [at], National University of Singapore, Singapore.
  • Vice-Chair: Jeremy Shtern (jshtern [at], Ryerson University, Canada.