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Democracy and Media Decadence

AUD$59.95 inc GST

  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107614574

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About the Authors
  • We live in a revolutionary age of communicative abundance in which many media innovations - from satellite broadcasting to smart glasses and electronic books - spawn great fascination mixed with excitement. In the field of politics, hopeful talk of digital democracy, cybercitizens and e-government has been flourishing. This book admits the many thrilling ways that communicative abundance is fundamentally altering the contours of our lives and of our politics, often for the better. But it asks whether too little attention has been paid to the troubling counter-trends, the decadent media developments that encourage public silence and concentrations of unlimited power, so weakening the spirit and substance of democracy. Exploring examples of clever government surveillance, market censorship, spin tactics and back-channel public relations, John Keane seeks to understand and explain these trends, and how best to deal with them. Tackling some tough but big and fateful questions, Keane argues that 'media decadence' is deeply harmful for public life.

    • An exciting account of the communications media revolution - a vital and politically important trend of our time
    • Considers both the positive and negative implications for democracy from a global perspective
    • Proposes new perspectives relevant for media and communications studies and politics and political science fields
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'With impressive intellectual breadth and rich analytic insight, John Keane's engaging new book moves us beyond conventional ways of thinking about media and democracy. Addressing key debates, his writing is, as always, accessible, compelling, and edifying.' Peter Dahlgren, Lund University

    'Vanquishing received wisdom and resisting cliché, John Keane charts the transformative impact of communicative abundance. Invoking McCluhan, Derrida, Curran and others, he perceptively constructs a significant vision: an emerging 'monitory democracy' dependent on new roles for media and very new relationships between media institutions, technology and society.' Monroe E. Price, Director, Center for Global Communications Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

    'John Keane doesn't answer all your questions about the new media and democracy - but he makes it impossible for you to credit those who pretend to. In energetic, sometimes gripping, prose he offers indispensable conceptual tools (particularly 'monitory democracy') for a fresh look at where democracy stands in an age of communicative abundance teetering on the edge of communicative decay. A brilliant work!' Michael Schudson, Columbia Journalism School

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107614574
    • length: 261 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Communicative abundance
    2. Monitory democracy
    3. Media decadence
    4. Democracy's opponents
    5. Why freedom of public communication?

  • Author

    John Keane, University of Sydney
    Renowned globally for his creative thinking about democracy, John Keane is Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney and at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB). Among his best-known recent books are Global Civil Society? (Cambridge University Press, 2003), Violence and Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2004), and the highly-acclaimed The Life and Death of Democracy (2009).

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