Political Economy 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 Political Economy 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”.

See the IAMCR 2020 general call for proposals.   

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. The past three decades of cultural, economic and communication globalisation have created 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. We see 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 reexamining 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.

In the context of growing divisions between elites and citizens, the economically secure and marginalised, mainstream and minority cultures, and intensified political polarization , calls for greater inclusiveness of different voices in the media and equality of access and opportunities , become even more pressing. As researchers we need a more comprehensive understanding of the the factors promoting and impeding inclusiveness in the ‘legacy’ print and audio-visual media media domestically and globally and the roles played by existing and emerging digital media.

Having a public voice and opportunities for expression, however, does not in itself guarantee that diverse contributions to a common culture will be listened to attentively or treated with respect. IAMCR 2020 addresses respect for both diversities and shared values. Respect embodies respect for local cultural experiences and developmental models as well as respect for human dignity and international law and institutions. It embodies respect for role of ethics in developing the digital technology and for the safety and security of personal data and privacy. Exploring these issues requires us to reconsider to what extent the current global communication and technological landscapes have facilitated these dimensions of respect for diverse voices, experiences and models; and to ask what communicative values and goals would guaranteed the in the future.

Promoting inclusiveness and respect are essential preconditions for (re)imagining and developing a shared digital future that challenges and transcends political, religious, and cultural boundaries. But pursuing this goal also requires a commitment to reciprocity based on relations between public, governments and business communities rooted in a shared a commitment to inclusiveness, respect and avoiding exploitation or exacerbating divides and conflicts.

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. 

In addition to the main conference themes, the Political Economy Section also welcomes submissions on:

  • Political economy of digital broadcasting, telecommunications and mobile communications,
  • Political economy of online networks, platforms, algorithms and code
  • Political economy of journalism and news
  • Political economy of gender and feminism
  • Political economy of race/ethnicity
  • Political economy of big data and surveillance
  • Political economy and climate change/environment,
  • Politics of the next-generation internet
  • Citizenship, civic/cultural rights and democracy
  • Media as tools of state/corporate power/repression
  • Counter-hegemonic practices, civic resistance and media activism
  • Media capital and financialization of corporate media
  • Commodification of audiences
  • Civil society, public sphere, public goods, digital commons
  • Communication/mediation of markets and finance/fintech.
  • Power, media policy and regulation
  • Moral economies, gift economies and free culture/free economy
  • De-commodification, de-marketization, and socialist praxis
  • Cultural industries and cultural economy
  • Cultural and creative labor
  • Continuing crises (financial, moral, others)
  • Counter-hegemonic practices, civic resistance and media activism
  • Globalization, spatialization, and temporality
  • Free trade agreements, copyright and IP
  • Communication, geopolitics, and transcultural political economy
  • ICT4D, labor, and regional development


The Political Economy section will review abstracts in the IAMCR official languages (English, French, Spanish), but encourages participants to submit and present their papers in English.

Guidelines for abstracts

Abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words. All abstracts must be submitted at https://iamcr2020.exordo.com. Abstracts sent by email 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. No more than one (1) abstract can be submitted to any section or working group. 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.

The deadline to submit abstracts is 23:59 GMT on 2 March 2020

See important dates and deadlines to keep in mind


The IAMCR Political Economy Section blind reviews all abstracts and ranks submissions according to the following criteria:

  • General coherence and relevance to the political economy section.
  • Evidence of theoretical/ methodological rigor
  • Empirical or conceptual originality which extends/provokes debate about the field of political economy.
  • Gives voice to subaltern/under-represented groups/countries, or facilitates resistance/praxis.

For further information, please consult the conference website, or contact the Local Organizing Committee by email: tampere2020 [at] iamcr.org or the head of the section, Rodrigo Gomez rgg28jaguar [at] gmail.com