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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


From the Printing Press to Facebook and Twitter: Communication Technologies, Mass Media, and Politics - Dr Alena Drieschova

The course studies the nexus between communication technologies, mechanisms of truth production, and political regimes. The first session focuses on different theories of what counts as truth considering current debates about the post-truth era. The second session looks at different theories of communication and how they relate to politics. In subsequent sessions, we will look at the evolution of communication technologies from the printing press to mass media such as newspapers, radio, and TV, and to the emergence of the internet and social media. How are these communication technologies related to what counts as truth in a given epoch? And how does all of this shape the kind of politics that develops? How are the invention of the printing press and paper related to the Reformation and the destruction of the Church’s monopoly on “truth production”? Could have mass media influenced the emergence of democracy in Europe? And how do mass media relate to communism and fascism? What are the connections between social media and populism, social movements, revolutions, and authoritarianism in the contemporary era?

Further information can be found here