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[Commlist] CfP: Communication Rights in the Digital Age
Mon Mar 04 16:49:46 GMT 2019
Call for Papers:
Communication Rights in the Digital Age
International Conference Organized by the Helsinki Media Policy Research
Group, the University of Helsinki, the ECREA Communication Law and
Policy Section and the Euromedia Research Group
24–25 October 2019, Helsinki, Finland
The rights-based perspective on ethical and political questions
presented by the new digital media has recently regained attention in
academic and political debates. The formulation of human rights in
general is based on a communication right – freedom of expression – as
well as a right to take part and be heard in a dialogue. In the digital
era, the role of communication has been magnified.
Calls for the protection of citizens’ “digital rights,” for example,
have resulted in countless reports and declarations by governments,
international bodies and activist organizations over the past two
decades. In addition to debates on the consequences of digital
transformations for established rights, such as freedom of expression,
new rights have been envisioned, such as “the right to be forgotten” and
the right to internet access.
Thus far, there are more academic, public and policy debates than solid
and sustainable legal and policy solutions. This is not surprising given
the complexity of these rights, which have many context-based
variations, operate on the cusp of theory and praxis, and are constantly
evolving with technological advances. Communication rights refer not
only to legal norms but also more broadly to the freedoms and norms that
have special significance to societies and individuals.
Due to the importance of communication rights to societies and
democracy, it is imperative to understand how those rights are defined,
manifested, regulated and monitored today. The realization of
communication rights is further shaped by economic, political and
socio-cultural situations. What do we know about these contexts? How can
we accumulate a better conceptual and empirical understanding of
This conference will specifically address the interplay of national and
global (universal and specific) characteristics of communication rights.
Core questions include but are not limited to the following:
What are some definitions of communication rights?
* What should be considered communication rights?
*What is their relationship to human rights and/or natural rights?
* How do communication rights differ from the classic reliance on speech
rights as the basis for media regulation?
Who are the policy and other actors defining these rights in national
and international contexts, and what are their roles in discursive
and/or policy-making contexts?
* How do different academic disciplines respond to the concept of
* How are rights interpreted in different empirical contexts?
* For instance, communication rights and their position in national
What are current core issues or cases that pertain to communication
rights? These may include but are not limited to:
* Market concentration, platforms and “big tech”: EU and national responses
* Platforms financing media and their influence on journalism
* New policies for diversity; new tools and policies for media support
* The influence of party politics and populism (and the context of hate
speech) on freedom of speech; increasing state control of media outlets,
including public broadcasters
We are especially interested in novel conceptual and theoretical
interventions, but we also appreciate comparative empirical approaches.
Confirmed keynote speaker:
Philip M. Napoli, Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy,
Professor of the International Comparative Studies Program, Duke
University, United States
Please submit your proposal of max. 500 words, including your
affiliation and contact information, by 15 May 2019 to
(minna.aslama /at/ helsinki.fi) <mailto:(minna.aslama /at/ helsinki.fi)>.
You will receive notification of acceptance by 15 June 2019.
Registration and fee:
Registration will be open 15 June through 15 October.
Registration fee: €100
Reduced student fee: €40
For more information and enquiries, please see the website:
or contact (minna.aslama /at/ helsinki.fi) <mailto:(minna.aslama /at/ helsinki.fi)>
and (irina.khaldarova /at/ helsinki.fi) <mailto:(irina.khaldarova /at/ helsinki.fi)>.
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