Al Jazeera and Democratization: The Rise of the Arab Public by Ezzeddine Abdelmoula

By Ezzeddine Abdelmoula

Al Jazeera and Democratization analyses the expanding position of the media in political adjustments with a unique emphasis at the Arab global. Taking the Al Jazeera media community as a case research, the writer explains how enticing the general public and supplying structures for open debate and unfastened expression contributed to the emergence of a brand new vivid Arab public sphere.

The release of Al Jazeera in 1996 was once an important occasion that ended in next alterations either in Arab media and politics. between those adjustments, the Arab spring is definitely the main striking. This unparalleled phenomenon has already ended in political swap in a few international locations and is predicted to generate a democratizing wave and reshape the face of the area. The Arab spring offers us with a telling empirical instance the place the interaction among media and politics is happen. the general public sphere that has emerged out of this newly communicative surroundings has unquestionably performed its position within the present political adjustments. during this context, Arab democratization is not any longer an summary, it is very a constructing procedure that wishes our recognition and calls for concerted scholarly efforts.

Highly topical, this e-book presents a clean theoretical standpoint on Arab democratization in gentle of the Arab Spring, and is key examining for researchers and scholars of heart East Politics, Media reports and Democratization.

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85). ” This understanding of freedom is reflected in media-government relations. , 1956, p. 95). In the last chapter, Wilbur Schramm draws a theoretic outlook for the Soviet Communist theory of mass communication. He traces the roots of the Soviet understanding and practice of the media back to the Marxist tradition and the transformations it went through with Lenin and Stalin. , 1956, p. 107). Schramm emphasizes the fact that Soviet mass communication developed as an integral part of the Soviet state where the masses must submit to the dictatorship of the Party, and the Party must submit to its central bureaucracy and leaders.

14) fail not only Huntington’s third wave theory, but also the whole top-down structuralist approach to democratization. Arab democratization is better understood through a bottom-up lens, placing more emphasis on societal dynamics. Here we are presented with a reinterpretation of the rise of Arab electoralism of the late 1980s and 1990s that challenges Lipset’s well-established and rarely contested thesis on the relationship between economic prosperity and democracy. Sadiki argues that social events like the bread riots, which took place in a number of Arab countries in the mid-1980s and later (Sudan, Algeria and Jordan), were at the roots of the rise of electoralism in these countries.

By the end of the 1990s, almost every single Arab country had its satellite television channel up and running. With the exception of MBC, which produced news and entertainment programmes designed for a pan-Arab audience, the content of all other channels remained largely unchanged. It consisted primarily of packaged terrestrial programmes, initially produced for local audiences. Changing the platform or delivery system from terrestrial to satellite while keeping the same content and policy cannot fundamentally change the function of the media or turn heavily censored state-controlled television into a successful service.

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