1. Introduction/aims/background


    The aim of this Modular/Assessment/Study Block is to:

    To examine the ways in which the political economy of communication has transformed social, political and economic relations.

  2. Learning outcomes


    Whatever modular/assessment block or programme of study you are undertaking at Brunel University, there are learning outcomes that you must achieve in order to be awarded the necessary credits that comprise the module and programme of study. The learning outcomes you must demonstrate for this module are:


    The module provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

    (A) Knowledge and Understanding 1. To analyse the claims of different approaches to the political economy of global communication.

    (B) Cognitive (thinking) Skills 2. To understand the theoretical and historical context of contrasting approaches to the political economy of global communication and the way that they have provided the lexicon that shapes our everyday understanding of politics, economics and society

    (C) Other Skills and Attributes (Practical/Professional/Transferable) 3. To develop the capacity to analyse in critical and reasoned manner in order to present and defend a coherent argument on these issues.

  3. Core reading list


    This modular/study/assessment block is in part based around notions and/or material that can be found in the core text(s) listed below. It is therefore likely that you will use, or refer to, in your lecture/seminar sessions the notions and/or material in the books listed here. You will likely be directed to study aspects of these texts in your out-of-classroom time, that is, in your private study. 

  4. Part three: Theories and concepts 2 156 items
    1. Week 17: Cyber conflict/Cyber Control: The state and corporate surveillance in the digital age 28 items

        The first session will reprise the issues and themes covered in term 1 as well as examining the issues raised for individual liberty and privacy by the digital revolution. The session will examine the ways in which firms, the state and social media sites such as Facebook and Google gather information on employees, citizens and consumers in the digital age. In what ways are these institutions seeking to control and shape the behavior or consumers, workers and citizens? How can we evaluate the success of their strategies?


        1. Questions:
        2. 1.    Can search engines be neutral in the ways in which they generate results?
        3. 2.    In what ways are firms such as Facebook using algorithms and digital technology to influence consumer/user behaviour?
        4. 3.    What are 'Bots' and how can they be used to shape public opinion?
        5. 4.    How should we conceptualise the power of social media firms in relationship to the market, consumers and employees?
        6. 5.    What is the relationship between the state and the major digital companies (Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook)?
        7. 6.    To what extent does the emergence of the internet and social media enhance individual liberty or undermine it?
        8. 7.    What is the '5 eyes' system?
        9. 8.    How persuasive is the justification for the global inter-state surveillance of citizens?


      2. Key reading 1 item
        1. Shadow government: surveillance, secret wars, and a global security state in a single superpower world - Tom Engelhardt, Glenn Greenwald, Eric Ruder 2014 (electronic resource)

          Book Essential reading

      3. Additional readings 26 items
        1. The social power of algorithms - David Beer 02/01/2017

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Internet wars : the struggle for power in the twenty-first century - Fergus Hanson 2015., 2015

          Book Recommended reading

        3. No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the surveillance state - Glenn Greenwald 2015

          Book Recommended reading

        4. The Case for Alternative Social Media - Robert W. Gehl 22/09/2015

          Article Recommended reading

        5. After Snowden: Rethinking the Impact of Surveillance - Zygmunt Bauman, Didier Bigo, Paulo Esteves, Elspeth Guild 06/2014

          Article Recommended reading

        6. The Rise of Social Bots - Emilio Ferrara, Onur Varol, Clayton Davis, Filippo Menczer 2016

          Article Recommended reading

        7. The Google story - David A. Vise, Mark Malseed c2005

          Book Recommended reading

        8. The Dystopian Future of Facebook - Mark Kernan 2008

          Article Recommended reading

        9. Marketing meets Web 2.0, social media, and creative consumers: Implications for international marketing strategy - Pierre R. Berthon, Leyland F. Pitt, Kirk Plangger, Daniel Shapiro 2012-5

          Article Recommended reading

        10. Why it's still kicking off everywhere: the new global revolutions - Paul Mason 2013

          Book Recommended reading

        11. Social media as surveillance: rethinking visibility in a converging world - Daniel Trottier c2012 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        12. The culture of connectivity: a critical history of social media - Josâe van Dijck c2013

          Book Recommended reading

        13. Understanding social media - Sam Hinton, Larissa Hjorth 2013

          Book Recommended reading

        14. Networks of outrage and hope: social movements in the Internet age - Manuel Castells 2015 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        15. Worker resistance and media: challenging global corporate power in the 21st century - Lina Dencik, Peter Wilkin 2015

          Book Recommended reading

        16. Big Data Surveillance: Introduction - Mark Andrejevic 2014/05/09

          Article Recommended reading

        17. Social media: a critical introduction - Christian Fuchs 2017

          Book Recommended reading

        18. Social media marketing: theories & applications - Stephan Dahl 2018

          Book Recommended reading

    2. Week 18 15 items
      1. The idea of a Clash of Civilisations has become one of the dominant ways of framing globalisation and the post-Cold War world. In particular it has influenced many of the ways in which issues such as terrorism and the war against Islamic State are framed. More broadly it underpins the idea that the West is at war with Islam, leading to the emergence of concepts such as 'Islamic-fascism'. This has manifested itself in such controversies as the publishing of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in Western newspapers and the shootings of journalists and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo in 2015. Both of these incidents became framed around the issue of Western values of the defence of free speech as being opposed to opponents who embraced authoritarian beliefs, which denied it. This session will set out the original thesis as articulated by the US political scientist Samuel Huntington before examining how it has helped to shape the ways in which the war on terror and the rise of Islamic State have been framed in the main Western media institutions and news agencies. The thesis represents a major challenge to Neo-liberal ideas about the universal nature of markets, communications, the end of history and the spread of capitalism.





        1.    What are the implications for the thesis for the way in which we understand globalisation and the transformation of the modern world via the spread of capitalism and markets?

        2.    What is meant by the idea of a civilisation?

        3.    How does the concept of Islamic fascism help to frame media understandings of the war on terror?

        4.    To what extent do the media promote rather than simply report islamophobia and conflict?

        5.    What should be the limits to free speech?

        6.    To what extent do the killings at Charlie Hebdo in 2015 represent an example of a clash of civilisations?

      2. Main Reading 1 item
      3. Additional readings 13 items
        1. Women And News - Margaretha Geertsema 06/2009

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Islamic State: Terror as a Media Strategy - Joseph V. Micallef 2015

          Article Recommended reading

        3. Orientalism once more - Edward Said 11/2004

          Article Recommended reading

    3. Week 19 24 items

        World-Systems Analysis (WSA) is an approach to the study of the Modern World-System that sees global power and inequality as central to the way in which the modern world has been constructed. This system has been 'global' since the expansion of European imperialism in the C16 which fundamentally transformed the world in three new ways: politically, through the construction and spread of nation-states; economically through the spread of capitalism as a system of inequality in which the states of the core (Europe, North America) exploit those of the periphery and the semi-periphery (colonised) as part of the process of the accumulation of capital; and culturally, through the spread of ideologies about racism, sexism and nationalism that have systematically divided the world in various ways and served to legitimise the inequality that is fundamental to the system. This session will focus on the cultural realm and the battle that has shaped the development of the world's global communication infrastructure since the 1970s in the conflict over competing models of ownership and control: the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) which was driven by the Global South, as opposed to the current World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which was driven by the political and economic interests of the core.



        1.    What is meant by the idea of the modern world-system?

        2.    What is meant by the concepts of core, periphery and semi-periphery?

        3.    Why is inequality important to the idea of the modern world-system?

        4.    Why is trade viewed as a form of conflict or war in the modern world-system?

        5.    Why did the global south propose a New World Information and Communication Order in the 1970s?

        6.    Why was this opposed by the core states of the modern world-system?

        7.    What is meant by the digital divide?

        8.    Has the digital revolution changed the flow of global communication and information?

        9.    What are the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)?



      2. Internet sources 1 item
      3. Key Readings: 2 items
        1. The clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order - Samuel P. Huntington 2002

          Book Essential reading

      4. WSA 7 items
        1. World systems analysis: theory and methodology - Terence K. Hopkins, Immanuel Maurice Wallerstein c1982

          Book Recommended reading

        2. Antisystemic Movements, Yesterday and Today - Immanuel Wallerstein 01/09/2014

          Article Recommended reading

        3. Eurocentrism: Modernity, Religion, and Democracy: A Critique of Eurocentrism and Culturalism - Samir Amin 18 Nov. 2010

          Book Recommended reading

      5. NWICO and WSIS 7 items
        1. ‘Twenty years mean nothing’ - Guillermo Mastrini, Diego de Charras 12/2005

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Media, Culture & Society - Colin Sparks July 1990

          Journal Recommended reading 'Farewell to NWICO,’ special issue - see the whole issue (1990 Vol. 12 iss.3)

      6. WSA on global communication and culture 6 items
        1. Global communications since 1844: geopolitics and technology - Peter J. Hugill, Center for American Places 1999

          Book Recommended reading

        2. Freedom of the press: a world system perspective - Shelton A. Gunaratne 2002

          Article Essential reading

        3. Cultures in conflict? Who are we? Who are the others? 2004

          Article Recommended reading vol 1 no. 3, 2004, pp. 505-521, available at

    4. Week 20: The rise of the Public Relations Industry: Corporate Propaganda, social media and democracy 40 items

        This session will examine the rise of the Public Relations industry over the course of the C20 and its relationship to democracy. Alex Carey saw three great political transformations over this period: 

        1.    the spread of democracy;

        2.    the growth of corporate power

        3.    the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.

        The rise of the Public Relations industry has been central to these trends and this session look at the ways in which PR can be utilized by powerful institutions to defend their interests. In particular it will examine the work of Sharon Beder who has written extensively about the attempts by corporations to promote the denial of climate change. How and in what ways can the PR industry mobilise public opinion? What difficulties do the media have in presenting the issue of climate change to their audiences? How has social media been used by corporations to promote their interests?




        Seminar Questions


        1. What kinds of power can we attribute to the PR industry?
        2. Why did the industry emerge?
        3. How should we view its relationship to capitalism and democracy?
        4. Whose interests does the industry serve?
        5. Is the PR industry necessarily a problem for democracy, as Carey claims?
        6. Does the rise of counter-PR represent a significant challenge to the PR industry?
        7. How useful are opinion polls as a way of measuring public opinion?
        8. What difficulties do the media face in presenting the issue of climate change to their audiences?
        9. What problems do citizens face in making sense of climate change?

      2. Seminar Reading 2 items
        1. Taking the risk out of democracy: corporate propaganda versus freedom and liberty - Alex Carey, Noam Chomsky, Andrew Lohrey 1997

          Book Essential reading chapter 1

      3. Sharon Beder, corporate propaganda and climate change 6 items
        1. Global spin: the corporate assault on environmentalism - Sharon Beder 2002

          Book Recommended reading

        2. Selling the work ethic: from puritan pulpit to corporate PR - Sharon Beder 2000

          Book Recommended reading

        3. The Corporate Assault on Democracy - Sharon Beder 2008

          Article Recommended reading

      4. Public opinion, the media, and opinion Polls 15 items
        1. Manipulating Public Opinion: The Why and The How - Edward L. Bernays 05/1928

          Article Recommended reading

        2. The return of the public - Dan Hind 2010

          Book Recommended reading

        3. Toward a dialogic theory of public relations - Michael L. Kent, Maureen Taylor 2002-2

          Article Recommended reading

        4. Public Relations Theory II - Carl H. Botan 2006

          Book Recommended reading Read Public Relations Theory and Practice in Nation pages 341-360

        5. Polling & Public Opinion: The good, the bad, and the ugly - Thomas E. Mann, E.J. Dionne June 1, 2003

          Article Recommended reading

        6. Journalistic Work: A Profession Under Pressure? - Tamara Witschge, Gunnar Nygren 03/2009

          Article Recommended reading

        7. The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations) - John Dryzek 15 Nov. 2013

          Book Recommended reading Read Public opinion and participation

        8. Public participation or public relations? - Sharon Beder 1999

          Document Recommended reading

        9. Public opinion - Walter Lippmann 2015 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        10. Propaganda - Robert Jackall 1995

          Book Recommended reading Read Hans Speier 'The Rise of Public Opinion' 26-47

        11. Propaganda - Robert Jackall 1995

          Book Recommended reading Read 'The Phantom Public' by W. Lippmann

        12. Propaganda - Robert Jackall 1995

          Book Recommended reading Read The Machinery of Propaganda

      5. Markets and the environment 2 items
        1. Capitalism: should you buy it? : an invitation to political economy - Charles Derber, Yale R. Magrass 2014

          Book Recommended reading chapter 3

        2. Capitalism: should you buy it? : an invitation to political economy

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 10, pp. 185-199 Environment and climate change.

      6. Public relations industry, democracy and counter-PR 14 items
        1. Spinning climate change: Corporate and NGO public relations strategies in Canada and the United States - Josh Greenberg, Graham Knight, Elizabeth Westersund 02/2011

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Hungary's crisis of democracy: the road to serfdom - Peter Wilkin 2016

          Book Recommended reading pages 14-21

        3. PR!: a social history of spin - Stuart Ewen 1996

          Book Recommended reading

        4. Public relations: an introduction

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 1, pp. 1-15 Public relations: what is it and why do we use it?

        5. Public relations: an introduction - Shirley Harrison 2000

          Book Recommended reading chapter 5

        6. Propaganda - Edward L. Bernays, Mark Crispin Miller c2005

          Book Recommended reading

        7. Public opinion - Walter Lippmann 2015 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        8. Propaganda - Robert Jackall 1995

          Book Recommended reading The magic lantern: the world of PR’

        9. Public relations - Averill Gordon c2011

          Book Recommended reading

        10. New media and public relations 2017

          Book Recommended reading

    5. Week 21: Elite Theory: Public Relations, social media and political marketing 28 items

        Over the course of the C20 the importance of political communication and propaganda has become paramount to democratic and anti-democratic governments alike. Democratic elite theorists (Lippmann, Bernays, Michels, Mills, Weber, Carey, Putnam) have all focused on the importance of the consciousness industries (advertising, marketing, public relations, the mass media) in making modern mass democracy stable and possible. This session examines the relationship between political elites and the media in the marketing of modern politics, from leadership elections to the defence of specific policies (austerity, migration, war). It considers the concepts of framing, spin and agenda-setting. In particular it focuses on the way the British press have framed Jeremy Corbyn during his rise to become leader of the Labour Party and on the successful campaign of Donald Trump.






        1. In what ways can politics be marketed as a commodity to be sold to its audience?
        2. What is the role of political elites in a democratic society?
        3. What does Weber mean by the idea of charisma? How does this manifest itself in contemporary politics?
        4. What are the implications for the nature of democracy?
        5. What did Michels mean by the idea of the 'iron law of oligarchy'? How persuasive is this idea?
        6. What strategies make for a successful political campaign?
        7. How can the media 'frame' stories? To what extent can political actor's frame stories?
        8. What does it mean to say that the media are agenda-setting?
        9. How can we account for the success of figures such as Corbyn and Trump who are seen as political outsiders who receive largely critical press coverage?
        10. To what extent does the success of Corbyn in the 2017 General Election and in securing the leadership of the Labour Party indicate that political information and organization are increasingly shifting away from the mainstream media and into the digital realm?
        11. What is meant by the idea of 'spin'?
        12. Why is the image of a political leader regarded as important?
        13. How has the image of Jeremy Corbyn been framed by the British press?

      2. Main Readings: 2 items
        1. Journalistic representations of Jeremy Corbyn in the British Press: from watchdog to attackdog - B Cammaerts, Brooks DeCillia, João Magalhães, César Jimenez-Martínez 2016

          Document Essential reading

      3. Corbyn, leadership and social media 5 items
        1. Corbyn: the strange rebirth of radical politics - Richard Seymour 2017

          Book Recommended reading

        2. UK General Election 2017: a Twitter Analysis - Laura Cram, Clare Llewellyn, Robin Hill, Walid Magdy 2017

          Document Recommended reading

        3. The ‘Corbyn Phenomenon’: Media Representations of Authentic Leadership and the Discourse of Ethics Versus Effectiveness - Marian Iszatt‑White, Andrea Whittle, Gyuzel Gadelshina, Frank Mueller 2018

          Article Recommended reading

      4. Elite Theory 4 items
        1. The Wiley-Blackwell encyclopedia of social and political movements - David A. Snow 2013 (Hardcover)

          Book Recommended reading Robert Michels and the Iron Law of oligarchy by P. Tolbert

        2. Hungary's crisis of democracy: the road to serfdom - Peter Wilkin 2016

          Book Recommended reading Elite Theory pp 14-21.

        3. Democratic Elitism Reappraised - John Higley

          Article Recommended reading

      5. Political Advertising/Marketing/Spin 10 items
        1. The media and political process

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 5, pp. 75-108 Spin-doctoring: the art of political public relations.

        2. Brands and political loyalty - Catherine Needham 2006-2

          Article Recommended reading

        3. The professionalisation of political communication - Ralph M. Negrine 2007

          Book Recommended reading

        4. Political communication and social theory - Aeron Davis c2010

          Book Recommended reading Celebrity politics, symbolic communication and media capital in the political field pp. 82-97

        5. The transformation of political communication: continuities and changes in media and politics

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 4, pp. 69-92 The transformation of political parties and the use of professional advisers in the communication of politics.

        6. Obama Skin Tone Darker In Clinton Ad? - John Ararvosis 28/03/2008

          Article Recommended reading

      6. Public Relations and Politics 3 items
        1. Public relations democracy: public relations, politics and the mass media in Britain - Aeron Davis 2009, c2002

          Book Recommended reading

        2. Political communication and social theory - Aeron Davis c2010

          Book Recommended reading chapter 5

      7. Framing/Agenda Setting 3 items
        1. Agenda setting and political advertising: Origins of the news agenda - Marilyn Roberts, Maxwell Mccombs 07/1994

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Effects of Election News Coverage: How Visibility and Tone Influence Party Choice - David Nicolas Hopmann, Rens Vliegenthart, Claes De Vreese, Erik Albæk 29/10/2010

          Article Recommended reading

    6. Week 22: The Apple Brand - Commodity Fetishism and Popular Culture: Marxism, Alienation and Ideology 21 items

        Marxist approaches to communication have tended to stress the ideological role of the media in promoting the dominant ideology of a ruling class (Marx, Lukacs, Gramsci, Critical Theory). This session will draw out the key Marxist concepts (Ideology, power, class, commodification) and examine them in the context of the rise of what Marxists call 'commodity fetishism'.



        1.    What does ideology mean to Marxists?

        2.    What does 'alienation' mean to Marxists?

        3.    What is meant by the idea of 'commodity fetishism'?

        4.    How do 'brands' and 'logo's' relate to the idea of commodity fetishism?

        5.    Why is it important to Marxists?

        6.    How does the rise of the 'Apple' brand illustrate the concept of commodity fetishism?

        7.    What do Marxists mean by the concept of ideology?

        8.    What does Marx mean when he says that 'The ideas of the ruling class are, in every age, the ruling ideas: i.e. the class which is the dominant material force in society is at the same time the dominant intellectual force

        9.   Is everything ideological?

        10.  Can there be a dominant ideology?

        11.  Why do Marxists see capiltism as being akin to a religion?

      2. Reading on Commodity Fetishism and the Apple Brand 3 items
        1. Brand fetishism - K. Assaf November 2010

          Article Recommended reading

        2. Commodity Fetishism and Repression - Michael Billig 06/1999

          Article Recommended reading

      3. Key Readings by Marxists on Commodity Fetishism 7 items
        1. Ideology - David Hawkes, ProQuest (Firm) 2003 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading Introduction, Ch 4.

        2. Social media: a critical introduction - Christian Fuchs 2017

          Book Recommended reading

        3. Capitalist realism: is there no alternative? - Mark Fisher 2009

          Book Recommended reading

      4. Additional Readings on Marxism and Ideology 10 items
        1. Ideology: an introduction

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 1, pp. 1-31 What is ideology?

        2. Ideology: an introduction - Terry Eagleton 2007

          Book Recommended reading Chapter 2

        3. The global transformations reader: an introduction to the globalization debate

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 6, pp. 92-97 The problem of globalisation theory.

        4. The global transformations reader: an introduction to the globalization debate

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 10, pp. 116-119 Globalization as empire.

        5. The global transformations reader: an introduction to the globalization debate - David Held, Anthony G. McGrew 2003

          Book Recommended reading Chapter 27

        6. Marxism and media studies: key concepts and contemporary trends - Mike Wayne 2003

          Book Recommended reading

        7. The political economy of communication - Vincent Mosco, Vincent Mosco 2009

          Book Recommended reading Chapter 3

        8. Economy and society

          Chapter Recommended reading Read Chapter 5, pp. 104-145 Political economy bringing power back in.

        9. Economy and society - R. J. Holton 1992

          Book Recommended reading Ch 6.

  5. Week 23: Effective Learning Week 0 items
  6. Week 24: In-Class essay preparation and test 0 items
  7. Part Four: Communication and Democracy 2 55 items
    1. Week 26: Social media and social change 3: From the Occupy Movement to the Gilet Jaunes 19 items

        The Occupy movement burst into life in 2011 in the wake of global protests against the policies of austerity imposed in many countries as a consequence of the Great Recession caused by the global financial crisis.             Occupy spread rapidly until movements were based in Cities and Countries around the world. Links were built through social media and attempts made to coordinate meetings and activism across what have previously been district geographic space. Thus there is an important spatial aspect to Occupy as a protest without borders. This session examines the impact and significance of Occupy as the first global movement for social justice in the C21. How should we evaluate its significance and to what extent is its impact largely symbolic? In particular, Occupy came to represent a manifestation of what is called 'horizontalism' – the idea that no single group should be in charge of a social movement but instead that it should organize through consensus and networks. This is often linked to anarchist social thought which has enjoyed a prominent revival over the past two decades and we will consider this in the session as well as subsequent protests that have emerged in the wake of Occupy from Black Lives Matter to Les Gilet Jaunes in France.




        1.    What is the significance of the Occupy moment?

        2.    How was social media used as part of its campaigning and organising?

        3.    What is the symbolic impact of Occupy?

        4.    How should we view the relationship between Occupy and subsequent social protest movements and revolutions and anarchist social thought?

        5.    What is meant by the concept of 'horizontalism'?

        6.    What is the legacy of the Occupy movement?

        7.    To what extent can we understand social media as a cause of protests such as Gilet Jaunes and Occupy?

      2. Occupy Movement 5 items
        1. Translating anarchy: the anarchism of Occupy Wall Street - Mark Bray 2013 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        2. OccupyMedia!: The Occupy Movement and Social Media in Crisis Capitalism - Prof. Christian Fuchs 26 Sept. 2014

          Book Recommended reading

      3. Anarchism and Occupy 4 items
        1. Occupy Wall Street's anarchist roots - David Graeber 2011

          Webpage Recommended reading

        2. The Anarchism of the Occupy Movement - Morgan Rodgers Gibson 09/2013

          Article Recommended reading

        3. Connective labor and social media - Megan Boler, Averie Macdonald, Christina Nitsou, Anne Harris 11/2014

          Article Recommended reading

      4. Rojava Revolution, Black Lives Matter and Anarchism Anarchism 9 items
        1. Anarchism: a very short introduction - Colin Ward 2004

          Book Recommended reading

        2. Anarchism: a beginner's guide - Ruth Kinna 2009

          Book Recommended reading

        3. A Dream of Secular Utopia in ISIS’ Backyard - Wes Enzinna Nov. 24, 2015

          Article Recommended reading

    2. Week 25: Social media and social change 2: The rise of the far-right 26 items

        The impact of social media on social and political life is becoming increasingly important. As we will see later in the module it was fundamental in enabling Jeremy Corbyn to win the leadership of the Labour Party and to resist his detractors form within the party. This week we will examine the rise of the far-right (often called alt-right) across the world who have also been adept at using social media to construct their own networks of organisation, communication and action. This has led to such things as the massacre of children in Norway in 2011 by the neo-fascist Anders Breivik; to the emergence of a host of neo-fascist political parties across the world. For critics this has led to mainstream political discourse shifting to the right and accepting a range of if increasingly illiberal and intolerant positions towards, in particular, migrants. How have the far-right used social media, and what do they stand for?




        1.    What is the attraction of the radical right and what do they stand for?

        2.    Why is social media important to the radical right?

        3.    Are contemporary far-right movements linked to classical fascism of the period between WW1 and WW2?

        4.    How has social media helped the development of the alt-right?

        5.    To what extent are the radical right a threat to democracy?

        6.    How should we understand populism?

        7.    What is its relationship to the radical right?

        8.    How do the radical right help to change the terms of political discourse?

      2. Main Readings 2 items
      3. Additional Readings 23 items
        1. Hungary's crisis of democracy: the road to serfdom - Peter Wilkin 2016

          Book Recommended reading The challenge of Jobbik

        2. The Anatomy of Fascism - Robert O. Paxton February 24, 2005

          Book Recommended reading

        3. The Politics of Fear: What Right-Wing Populist Discourses Mean - Ruth Wodak 21 Sept. 2015

          Book Recommended reading

        4. The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis - Thomas Kilikauer 2017

          Webpage Recommended reading

        5. The rise of the alt-right - Thomas J. Main 2018

          Book Recommended reading

        6. Why it's still kicking off everywhere: the new global revolutions - Paul Mason 2013

          Book Recommended reading

        7. Networks of outrage and hope: social movements in the Internet age - Manuel Castells 2015 (electronic resource)

          Book Recommended reading

        8. Hate on the net: extremist sites, neo-fascism on-line, electronic jihad - Antonio Roversi c2008

          Book Recommended reading

        9. Inside the Radical Right - David Art 5 May 2011

          Book Recommended reading

    3. Week 27: Dot-communism and ‘Graduates without a future’ 10 items
      1. The development of digital technology has recently revived ideas about communism and in particular the idea of dot-communism. The argument here is that the impact of knowledge as a component of the digital revolution is lowering the costs (and therefore the profitability) of technology and goods and services to the point that they seem to be on the verge of becoming free. Supporters and critics alike have noted this trend and in this session we examine Paul Mason's argument about dot-communism and the drive towards a post-capitalist society that is identified with the C21 concept of 'graduates without a future'.

      2. Readings on Dot-Communism 2 items
      3. Additional Readings 7 items
        1. PostCapitalism: a guide to our future - Paul Mason 2016

          Book Recommended reading

        2. Dot-communist Manifesto - Andrew Sullivan June 11, 2000

          Article Recommended reading

  8. Week 28: Exam preparation 0 items
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