An independent international centre for advanced studies
Two European regions with distinct positive and negative halo effects. Balkans with the pejorative “balkanization” attribute for disintegrating and non-cooperation, Baltics as the positive role model for successful regional cooperation and post-socialist transition. What can we learn from this opposition in terms of policies and practices in media and communication production and use?
With a long term lens of social and media development, both of these regions were at the periphery of Europe. While the western parts of the Baltic region today exhibit an unbroken growth and development, its eastern part had long periods of stulted development and decline under different Russian empires (including the Soviet Union). In the south, some parts of the broader Balkans regions historically were at or near the center of Europe – after Romans, in times of the Venetian rule, before becoming a semi-periphery under the Habsburgs or a far periphery under the Ottomans. These ancient times provide some early contextual similarities or differences. But what about the current times, 30 years after socialism collapsed in Europe? How can we evaluate media systems, organizations, and practices of producers and consumers in these two distinct regions? Are the regional labels useful, or do they conceal more that they explain? Is geography a useful determinant for a center/periphery status, or can the Nordic examples uncover some policy moves that contributed to the development of the contemporary media systems which exhibit many of the most useful characteristics for the informed and participating democratic publics.
We will explore ways to study change in media systems, focusing both on the temporal and spatial frames, and will examine transformations necessary in the political, economic and cultural fields. And we will examine which combination of historical conditions from the longue durée or more recently, are responsible for certain types of outcomes of media systems.
The course includes a one day hands-on methodological workshop on the design and implementation of fuzzy set QCA and the accompanying statistical analysis.