Communication Policy and Technology Section - CFP 2018

The Communication Policy and Technology (CP&T) Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions for the IAMCR 2018 conference to be held from 20-24 June, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon, USA. The deadline for submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals is 23:59 GMT on 31 January 2018.

General Theme

The 2018 conference theme is Reimagining Sustainability: Communication and Media Research in a Changing World.

As part of its Sustainable Development Agenda, the United Nations defines sustainability as harmonizing three core elements, environmental protection, social inclusion, and economic growth, so as to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This inevitably raises urgent issues of entrenched power, social justice, democracy, and the need to eradicate poverty, raise basic living standards, and address the present climate crisis.

The role of communication and media in both promoting and impeding sustainability has increasingly been the focus of commentary and research. Material communication systems consume energy in their manufacture and use, contribute to problems of pollution and waste, and in their dominant commercial forms, support and encourage a general culture of unsustainable hyper-consumption. What alternatives would advance the full and equal access to diverse information and comprehensive knowledge bases that UNESCO advocates as central to achieving sustainable societies?

We encourage participants to address these issues, in relation to both prevailing systems of communication and the systems now emerging around the application of artificial intelligence, the rise of automation and robotics, and the internet of things. We also welcome analysis that reassesses and reimagines sustainability in relation to openness, transparency, accessibility, and the re-composition of power, as we continue to explore the implications of media and communication in an interconnected world.

CP&T Call for Proposals

The Communication Policy and Technology section focuses on the role and meaning of media and communication technologies, both analogue and digital, in past, current and future societies, and encourages a critical focus on the role of policy (broadly defined) in these developments. For the IAMCR conference in Eugene we invite papers that explore how the general theme of sustainability relates to media and communication technology and policy, as well as a number of additional themes (detailed below) and submissions for co-sponsored sessions.  

We are interested in policies related to media, communication technologies and online platforms, ranging from print-cultures to sharing economy applications in different domains of society. Over the last decade, the relations between (state) institutions, citizens, and corporations has been fundamentally reconfigured. On the one hand, this development is accelerated and complicated by the rapid rise of digital media platforms and their role for public discourses. On the other hand, we witness the emergence of new social (and populist) movements, often related to new modes of governance and participation. As a consequence, the borders between culture, communication and politics are being reconfigured and policy often fails to keep up with the dynamic changes in all societal spheres. We need to critically assess from interdisciplinary perspectives what these developments mean for the (dis)empowerment of users/citizens/consumers, for the creation of sustainable societies and the role of media, communication and technology within these societies.

The CP&T section welcomes papers and panel proposals addressing the following themes that fit in the general call for papers and are relevant to the section.

  • Global, national and local internet governance, digital sovereignty and data citizenship in times of nationalisation, securitisation and populism
  • Social media and online governance of harassment, hate speech and cyberbullying particularly as it relates to gender, race, ethnicity, class etc.
  • The challenges created for politics, policies and citizens of misinformation, automated content generation, personalisation, algorithmic bias and platforms
  • Emerging social, cultural, environmental and citizenship challenges and opportunities of ubiquitous and embedded computing and networking in relation to smart cities, the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence
  • The challenges posed by big data infrastructures to democracy, knowledge construction and the environment
  • Policies and research into the digital divide, digital literacy, user and community self-determination, user activism, online communities and user generated innovations etc.
  • Engagements with major international policy initiatives including the UNESCO Internet Universality Indicators project, the EU General Data Protection Framework, indicators, projects and research of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (United Nations) and similar initiatives in other regions etc.
  • Policies and debates around public service obligations, pluralism and diversity, convergence, and regional integration in broadcasting and telecommunications services
  • Policies and debates around archiving, memory, the materiality and sustainability of media and communication infrastructures, and alternative solutions

In addition, we warmly invite submissions for a joint session with the Emerging Scholars Network section. Emerging scholars who are current or recent PhDs, and are tackling issues within the scope of the CP&T section, are welcome to submit their research to either our section or to ESN, and indicate on their abstract that they wish to be considered for this joint session with ESN.  

The CP&T section also plans to co-sponsor a session with the Law section. Submissions taking a critical approach to law and internet governance; broadcast and telecommunication policy; communication technologies’ relationships with citizens’ rights, privacy and justice; and related topics may be considered for this panel. Contributions for this session may be submitted to either CP&T or Law; please indicate on your abstract that you wish to be considered for the session.

The CP&T section may also sponsor a session with the Global Media Policy Working Group and another with the Political Economy section if enough abstracts of themes relevant to both our and those sections are submitted. Please indicate if you wish your contribution to be considered for such joint sessions.

Jointly with UNESCO, the CP&T Section is inviting submissions for a special session on UNESCO’s Internet universality indicators. Proposals regarding alternative perspectives regarding the Internet indicators, or including empirical research relevant to UNESCO’s project should mention their wish to be part of this session.

Accepted CPT submissions will take place in two types of sessions: individual paper sessions (i.e. 4-5 presenters with 12-15 minutes each followed by a discussant and requiring full paper submitted before the conference) and panel sessions (4-5 papers on a single theme).


Abstracts may be submitted in English, French and Spanish. Please note that if you wish to present in French, or Spanish, we will ask you to prepare English language slides to facilitate communication. The chairs can provide further information.

Submission information

The CP&T section welcomes abstract proposals of between 300 and 500 words for papers in line with the conference and CP&T themes. Abstracts should contain a title, main question or research problem, your theoretical framework, note the method(s) used, and summarise the findings and their policy relevance.

Submitted abstracts will be evaluated by a double blind review on the basis of: (1) theoretical contribution, (2) methods, (3) quality of writing, (4) literature review, (5) relevance of the submission to the work of the CP&T section and policy, and (6) originality and/or significance of the work.

The CP&T section also welcomes abstract proposals for panels of 90 minutes and including 4-5 papers. A complete CP&T panel submission must include:

1. The panel proposal: including, the panel title, a framing text, the names of the panelists and the titles of their papers. The framing text should contain the overall idea and goal of the panel, and how it responds to the CP&T section call. A panel chair and a discussant should also be proposed.

2. 4-5 paper abstracts, name of panel it is part of, title and author(s), main question or research problem/argument, theoretical framework, and –if applicable– method(s) used and findings, and policy relevance.

Submission of abstracts and panel proposals must be submitted through the online Open Conference System (OCS) at before 23:59 GMT on 31 January 2018. Early submission is strongly encouraged. Abstracts cannot be sent to the Section chairs.

It is expected that for the most part, only one (1) abstract will be submitted per person for consideration by the conference. However, under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same applicant either individually or as part of any group of authors. Please note also that the same abstract or another version with minor variations in title or content must not be submitted to other Sections or Working Groups of the Association. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected. Such applicants risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Upon submission of an abstract, you will be asked to confirm that your submission is original and that it has not been previously published. You will also be given an opportunity to declare that your submission is not currently before another conference for consideration.

If Accepted

If a proposal is accepted, the presenter must also register for the conference. Only registered participants will be included in the final conference programme.

Prior to the conference, and at least by the 28th of May, a completed paper should be submitted to Session Chairs, discussants and uploaded to a url to be determined. A CP&T best paper award prize may be awarded but only full papers submitted by the deadline will be considered.

Please note that if you wish to present in French, or Spanish, we will ask you to prepare English language slides to facilitate communication. The chairs can provide further information.

For information on the CP&T sessions (submission, themes, panels), and for general information on the CP&T section you can contact the section chairs (see below)

Important dates and deadlines to keep in mind:

  • 9 November 2017 – Abstract submission system (OCS) opens

  • 31 January 2018 – Deadline for submissions

  • 8 March 2018 – Registration opens

  • 15 March 2018 – Notification of decisions of abstracts

  • 20 March 2018 – Deadline to apply for travel grants and awards

  • 3 April 2018 – Deadline to confirm your participation

  • 7 May 2018 – Last day to register at discounted early-bird fee

  • 28 May 2018 – Deadline for full paper submission

  • 1 June 2018 – Final conference programme published on the website

  • 20–24 June 2018 – IAMCR 2018 Conference

Communication Policy and Technology Section

Visit the Communication Policy and Technology Section's webpage >>>


Aphra Kerr, Maynooth University, IE


Francesca Musiani, CNRS, FR

Julia Pohle, WZB, DE