Price's Media and Sovereignty
Today's Question: In several of the books we've read so far, we have found the hope or fear that new communication technologies challenge national borders or that they create new conditions for international unity (e.g., they will "bring the whole world together" or make place irrelevant). The Price book is an extended analysis of this one idea. Throughout the book Price compares and contrasts the consequences of specific technologies (satellite radio, AM radio, shortwave radio, the Internet, television, newspapers, books, etc.) for transnational migration, identity formation, international relations, and domestic politics. There are several examples in each chapter from specific places. Speaking generally, where is the agency (meaning: the means of action) in Price's accounts? In other words, is there an account of causation here, and if so, what is it? What leads to the consequences identified here, and what would we need to change to obtain different consequences?
Price’s book, Media and Sovereignty, provides us with a thorough analysis of national responses to media globalization. All nations, no matter what political forms they adopt, all involved in this revolution process. Through examples from different countries and areas Price argues that the process of remodeling global communication systems, negotiation of information boundaries, and reinforcement of national identities are influenced and controlled by many parties, including governments, religions, corporations, human right organizations and individuals. Among all these forces, according to Price’s description and argument, nations take the major power of controlling the new technologies and influencing the media by means of laws and regulations. Consequently, the governments can control the information and influence the public opinion both inside the country boundary and outside. On the other hand, the impact and influential power of nations vary depending on the different context. The reformation process is the results of interaction, negotiation and conflict of international forces. The policies adopted may be very different for different forms of nations, such as democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian, which results in different foreign policies and media systems. According to Price, nations are also influenced by other factors when response to the globalization trend, such as national security concerns, sensitivity to international speech norms, isolation versus vulnerability to power realignments, etc. The influence of technology is only one of them. For me, this book didn’t put the emphasis on discussing the deterministic power of technologies, but on reactions and policy shifts of nations facing information globalization in different conditions.