The governance of information freedom in crisis

Track: Panel

Democracy, resistance and control



Asli Tunc, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey Circumventing and Succumbing to Media Control in Turkey: Social Media as A Sphere of Struggle
Katharine Sarikakis and Patricia Smolean, University of Vienna Critical Media in times of crisis: a case study of news media in Greece, Romania and Spain
Ferenc Hammer, Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary Democratic performance of the media – Hungarian lessons


Katharine Sarikakis, University of Vienna


This panel is debating the nexus of Information freedom and multifaceted crisis through the prism of governance processes.  Crisis is many, involving not merely a financial malfunctioning of the European economies but ultimately a breakdown of the contract between State and citizens, a multiple crisis of a political as well as social dimension. Not necessarily always intertwined, economic-driven crisis has given rise to an exacerbation of distrust and crisis in the legitimacy of political architectures within national boundaries, i.e. distrust in national parliaments for example, but also other core institutions, such as the media, as well as in supranational institutions, in particular the EU polity.
The panel aims to discuss on an empirical and theoretical level, the ways in which these dynamics have led to a complex reality of the governance of information freedom, whereby important struggles for control over ‚communicative spaces’  are taking place. These struggles involve civil society actors, in the form of social movements, collectivities and other forms of associative politics that aim to construct, protect and sustain spaces for free information flow amidst severe restrictions of an economic and political nature. The panel explores specific national contexts  (Turkey, Greece, Spain, Romania, Hungary) to argue that these not only do not constitute isolated, ‚bizarre’ or ‚exceptional’ cases but actually pivotal cases in the current governance of freedom of expression.