Archive for August 2018

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[ecrea] CFP Global Media and China_Special Issue: Data on demand: Ranking the nation, predicting the future

Thu Aug 16 09:39:00 GMT 2018

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of Global Media and China (A Sage journal)

Theme: “Data on demand: Ranking the nation, predicting the future”

*Guest Editors*:
Michael Keane (Curtin University, Australia)
Gary Rawnsley (soon to return to University of Nottingham Ningbo China )

*Target issue*:
June Issue, 2019


Submission of Extended Abstracts: _September 30, 2018 (500 words)_

Notification of Abstracts Acceptance: _20 November, 2018_

Submission of Full Papers: _February 28 2019_


Many organisations, including governments, are now investing considerable resources into trying to measure both quantitatively and qualitatively the success and impact of their activities. This has given rise to a whole new industry that conducts longitudinal studies and feeds a new interest in global rankings. Governments are using their country’s position in these rankings as an indication of attraction, and a rise in global rankings is good news unless this represents a negative indicator, such as pollution or press freedom.

Today one of the most pervasive indicators of national reputation is soft power, with organisations such as Portland developing rankings for institutions such as the Annenberg School of Communication, the British Council and the government of Wales; while /Monocle/ magazine publishes its own soft power rankings at the end of each year. Other rankings measure a range of issues, including social progress, innovation, happiness, food security, Internet access and connection speeds, and pop culture exports. In addition, regions and cities are also analysed in an effort to understand the growing influence of sub-national actors. Rankings compare cities according to their liveability, global connectivity, friendliness, cultural diversity and creativity. A further development is the use of metrics to rank people within prescribed social demographics.

The methodology behind such metrics has attracted less attention than the rankings themselves, though understanding this is crucial for our interpretation of the data. For instance some have argued that China’s soft power and social progress rankings would be far higher if they were measured according to values endorsed by the Chinese government rather than by the more liberal norms of OECD institutions. Moreover, measurement itself reveals little about the emotional response of audiences to cultural products or their engagement with political institutions. Clearly, we need to pay more attention to qualitative rather than quantitative research if we wish to know how and why audiences engage with a particular country or government.

This special issue examines critically the current fascination with indexing, mapping, ranking and metrics as they apply to nations, regions, municipalities, publications and even citizens. Papers might address the topic of indexing from a range of disciplinary perspectives including media industry metrics, cultural policy studies, soft power and public/cultural diplomacy, international communications, and audience research.

The editors are interested in scholarly papers that address any of the following topics:

  *        The value of surveys and rankings in international relations
    and communications

  *        The global business of producing comparative metrics

  *        Use of such metrics in international and national media reports

  *        Use of such metrics in evaluating academic reputations and

  *        Policy implications of metric driven comparisons

  *        The methodology and management of indexing, mapping and ranking

  *        The use and abuse of big data, and the transparency of data

  *        Cultural trade data collections and cultural statistics

  *        The reliability and functionality of user recommendation
    sites and search engine rankings

  *        The use of algorithms and social credit scores to manage
    individuals within populations


The deadline for submitting abstracts is *September 30, 2018*. Abstracts should be 500 words in length, detailing the purpose, methods, and main points of research. The abstracts should be submitted to Professor Michael Keane by email at (m.keane /at/ <mailto:(m.keane /at/>.

Following peer-review, a selection of authors will be invited to submit a full paper in accordance with the journal’s ‘Instructions for authors.’ Please note acceptance of the abstract does not guarantee publication, given that all papers will be put through the journal’s peer review process.

Please refer to the full submission guidelines available at: gb/asi/global-media-and-china/journal202494#submission-guidelines

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