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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5380M The Media and Democratisation: Global Perspectives

30 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Jason Cabanes

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Module replaces

COMM5360M Democratisation and the Media in Asia

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module introduces students to the relationship between the media and processes of democratisation in a broad range of contexts. The first part of the module covers the main theories of the current democratisation literature and approaches to understanding the media in non-western contexts. This is followed by a discussion of key issues of the role of the media in processes of democratisation, such as media regulation and political independence, political ownership of the media and clientelism, the role of the internet and social media in democratic transitions, journalistic professionalism and journalism in post-conflict societies. The role of international organisations and western media assistance programmes will also be analysed. Country- specific case-studies will be used to illustrate these issues. The module provides a global approach for students interested in political communication, democracy and democratisation.


On completion of this module, students should be able to ...
The module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the role of the media in processes of democratisation; the empirical and theoretical frameworks for familiarisation with a range of case-studies; the foundations to make links with other modules taught in ICS that focus on democracy, democratisation and citizenship.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have:
- Familiarity with theoretical approaches to media in transitional democracies;
- Detailed understanding of specific case-studies;
- Knowledge of the international dimension of democratisation and media transformation.

Skills outcomes
Application of both theoretical and empirical approaches
Use of case-studies
Independent research disseminated in class presentations and essays submitted at the end of the module.


This module will engage with theories relating to the relationship between the media and democracy, and apply them to a range of empirical examples. The ways in which media operates and is used in different types of political environment will be explored. How media contributes to or challenges these political environments will be considered. Students will also reflect on the challenges for journalists and media organisations trying to balance the reality of a fast-changing, globalised media environment with the political, economic and societal demands of their domestic circumstances. Case studies taken from transitional democracies in different parts of the world, such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, will be used to illustrate these issues.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Preparation for seminars: 9 x approx. 8 hours (72 hours)
Preparation of oral presentation: approx. 16 hours
Background reading: approx. 30 hours
Preparation of Essay 1: approx. 80 hours
Preparation of Essay 2: approx. 80 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through seminar participation. The first essay is due in week 6 and feedback will be given within three weeks to enable students to improve their performance. Moreover students will have the opportunity to discuss their progress on an informal basis with the module convenor and to obtain help with preparation of presentations and essays.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,500 - 4,000 words50.00
Essay1 x 3,500 - 4,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/07/2018


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