Political Economy Section - CFP 2018

The Political Economy Section of the International Association for Media and Communication Research looks forward to the next IAMCR Conference and invites submissions (both individual proposals and collective panels) for the 2018 conference to be held in Eugene, Oregon from 20-24, June 2018. The deadline to submit abstracts is 23:59 GMT on 31 January 2018.

The conference will be held under the general theme, 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. It calls for concerted efforts towards building an equitable and resilient future for people and planet.
There is an immediate need to promote responsible and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems that incorporate local and global reflection and action. 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.

This ambition is currently under attack. In spite of overwhelming scientific evidence, climate change denial is used to build public support for unsustainable environmental practices. Encouraged by the rise of populism and ever-smaller media bubbles, intolerance is on the upswing around the world. Inequality is outpacing economic growth. Wealth is ever more concentrated.

We find it imperative in these times that IAMCR and its members expand and extend our understanding of current and emerging models of sustainability, the struggles that surround them, and their multiple relationships with communication and media.

Given the epochal environmental crisis, the Political Economy Section invites papers and panels proposals to address these intersections by revising and remixing theories, practices, and institutions that move beyond merely sustaining—towards thriving societies and cultures. 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 hyperconsumption.  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 recomposition of power, as we continue to explore the implications of media and communication in an interconnected world.

In addition to and /or in articulation with the conference sub-themes, the Political Economy Section also welcomes submissions on:

    • Political economy of digital broadcasting, telecommunications, live streaming and mobile communications,
    • Political economy of audiences,
    • Political economy of journalism,
    • Political economy of gender and feminism,
    • Political economy of big data and surveillance,
    • Political economy and climate change,
    • Moral economies, gift economies and free culture/free economy,
    • Media capital and financialization of corporate media,
    • Civil society, public goods and media activism
    • Communication/mediation of markets and finance.
    • Power, media policy and regulation,
    • Media, citizenship, cultural right and democracy,
    • De-commodification, de-marketization or de-convergence in communications
    • Cultural industries, cultural economy and diversity,
    • Cultural and creative labor in the context of digitization and global capitalism,
    • Continuing crisis (financial, moral, others),
    • Communication experiences of the social media activism around the world (Brazil, Hong Kong, Colombia, Malaysia, Greece, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Taiwan, Spain, Turkey etc.) as counter hegemonic social agents
    • Global capital and media power spatialization
    • Free trade agreements, copyright and communication and cultural policies.

Abstracts should be submitted from 9 November 2017 through 31 January 2018. Both individual and panel submissions are welcome and early submission is strongly encouraged.


The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 January 2018 and will not be extended.

Decisions on acceptance of abstracts will be communicated to applicants by their Section or Working Group Heads no later than 15 March 2018.

Guidelines for Abstracts

All abstract submissions must be made via IAMCR's Open Conference System at https://iamcr-ocs.org. There are to be no email submissions of abstracts addressed to Section Head. All abstracts should be between 300 and 500 words in length.


The Political Economy section will review abstracts in the IAMCR official languages (English, French, Spanish), but encourages the membership and participants to submit and present their papers in English.

Normally, only one (1) abstract per person will be considered, and under no circumstances should there be more than two (2) abstracts bearing the name of the same author 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 more than one Section or Working Group. Such submissions will be deemed to be in breach of the conference guidelines and will be rejected by the Online Conference System, by the relevant Head or by the Conference Programme Reviewer. Authors submitting them risk being removed entirely from the conference programme.

Criteria for Evaluation

Submitted abstracts will generally be evaluated on the basis of:
    • General coherence and relevance to the political economy section*
    • Evidence of theoretical/ methodological rigor
    • Empirical or conceptual originality which extends/provokes debate about the field of political economy
    • Gives voice to subaltern/under-represented groups/countries, or facilitates resistance/praxis

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

Political Economy Section

Visit the Political Economy Section's webpage >>>


Rodrigo Gómez


Peter Thompson

Peichi Chung