British Broadcasting and the Public-Private Dichotomy - Neoliberalism, Citizenship and the Public Sphere

by Simon Dawes
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Simon Dawes British Broadcasting and the Public-Private Dichotomy - Neoliberalism, Citizenship and the Public Sphere
Simon Dawes - British Broadcasting and the Public-Private Dichotomy - Neoliberalism, Citizenship and the Public Sphere

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This text offers a theoretical engagement with the ways in which private and public interests - and how those interests have been understood - have framed the changing rationale for broadcasting regulation, using the first century of UK broadcasting as a starting point. Unlike most books on broadcasting, this text adopts an explicitly Foucauldian and genealogical perspective in its account of media history and power, and unpicks how the meanings of terms such as 'public service' and 'public interest', as well as 'competition' and 'choice', have evolved over time. In considering the appropriation by broadcasting scholars of concepts such as neoliberalism, citizenship and the public sphere to a critical account of broadcasting history, the book assesses their appropriateness and efficacy by engaging with interdisciplinary debates on each concept. This work will be of particular significance to academics and students with an interest in media theory, history, policy and regulation, as well as those disposed to understanding as well as critiquing the neoliberalization of public media.


Simon Dawes

Further information

Illustrations Note:
XIV, 239 p.
Table of Contents:
1. Broadcasting Regulation, History and Theory.- 2. Geneology, Critique and the Public-Private Dichotomy.- 3. Broadcasting and the Public Sphere.- 4. Broadcasting, Citizenship and Consumption.- 5. Broadcasting and Neoliberalism.- 6. Problematising Public Control, Service, Interest and Value.- 7. Problematising the Public, Citizens and Consumers.- 8. Problematising Monopoly, Competition and Choice. - 9. The Social, the Political and the Public Sphere.- 10. Individualization, Voice and Citizenship.- 11. Neoliberalization as Discursive Process.- 12. Why the Public-Private Dichotomy Still Matters.
“Public service broadcasting is facing a life and death challenge from market-led visions of media provision. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the key concepts that have underpinned broadcasting debates over the last 100 years and equips us with the critical skills we need in order to intervene more effectively in contemporary battles about the shape of public broadcasting. It is a hugely knowledgeable and extremely timely piece of research.” (Des Freedman, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)

“Applying a Foucauldian problematic to British broadcasting and public service media, Dawes’ book provides a new and engaging perspective on long-established 'public versus private', 'market versus state' dichotomies. An important, original contribution to public debate.” (Terry Flew, Queensland University of Technology, Australia)

“The study of media policy has tended to draw on a relatively narrow band of social and political theory. Simon Dawes offers an important challenge to liberals, Habermasians and Marxists. He provides sympathetic critiques of these prevailing paradigms, and provides an intelligent account of the potential value of Foucauldian perspectives. His richly provocative book deserves to be read carefully by anyone with an interest in media policy.” (David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds, UK)
Contributes to scholarship in the areas of media policy and regulation, as well as more theoretically inclined literature on media and the public sphere

Distinctive in covering simultaneously theoretical and historical aspects in-depth, as well as in bringing together a wide array of theoretical debates

Unique in its adoption of a Foucauldian genealogical approach, given that the tendency in British media studies has been to eschew Foucault in favour of either a Gramscian or Habermasian tradition

Media Type:
Springer International Publishing
Biography Artist:
Simon Dawes is Maître de Conférences at the Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ), France. 

"Dawes offers his monograph as a 'supplement to the more traditional histories of broadcasting regulation' ... . This is a study that offers the critical tools to make a sustained and detailed analysis of media policy and regulation rather than provide that analysis itself. ... for those engaged in thinking about the role of PSB and of the issues and frameworks within which it is embedded, Dawes's monograph provides an important and highly distinctive contribution." (Andrew Spicer, Cercles, April, 2018)
Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2017
Number of Pages:

Master Data

Product Type:
Paperback book
Release date:
August 1, 2018
Package Dimensions:
0.21 x 0.148 x 0.015 m; 0.454 kg
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