- MEDIA, DEMOCRACY AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE: A democratic society is defined not just by its elections but also by its public life--by the institutions andMessage 1 of 1 , May 14, 2005View SourceMEDIA, DEMOCRACY AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE: A democratic society is defined not just by its elections but also by its public life—by the institutions and channels of communication that support the formulation of common goals and public accountability. This “publicness” is not a given: it always involves a balance of rights, expectations, and cultural norms, of communications technologies and regulations, and of diverse institutions that mediate state and private interests. It is a question not only of the circulation of information, but of access to knowledge, and of related capacities to speak, share, use, and innovate. Several SSRC programs address these issues in complementary ways, focusing especially on new technologies, intellectual property rights, concepts of openness and control, democratization and participation, and notions of the public good.
Communication as a Right and a Public Good explores how communications and media technologies can better support a broad-based, diverse and participatory public culture. It focuses on market- and technology-driven changes in the communications and media landscape in the U.S., and on the forms of regulation and governance that direct those changes to public ends.
Intellectual Property, Markets, and Cultural Flows mobilizes social research on the role of intellectual property in the emerging global information society, focusing on the cultural flows between developed and developing countries and on the convergence of culture, trade, technology, and information policy.
Information Technology and International Cooperation The program is dedicated to building knowledge about: 1) the ways that information technology is used by civil society organizations such as NGOs as they participate in local, national and transnational public spheres; and 2) the conditions and forces that shape that use such as the structures of international IT governance.
Culture, Creativity, and Information Technology seeks better understanding of the ways in which digital technologies are transforming the production, distribution and experience of culture—online and offline. Topics include the growth of network-mediated forms of cultural participation and of cultural institutions devoted to digital media.
Reconceptualizing Public Spheres in the Middle East and North Africa addresses the available and emerging spaces for public culture and political participation within individual Middle Eastern and North African societies and throughout the region.
Evaluating Democratization assists USAID in establishing better evaluation procedures for its efforts to strengthen political parties and participation, rule of law, legislative process, and civil society in authoritarian and transition societies. The project also examines broader concerns about what are appropriate and useful activities in support of democratization.
Core Programs and Projects Related Projects National Research Commission on Elections and Voting The Digital Cultural Institutions Project