© 2019

Media, Communication and the Struggle for Democratic Change

Case Studies on Contested Transitions

  • Katrin Voltmer
  • Christian Christensen
  • Irene Neverla
  • Nicole Stremlau
  • Barbara Thomass
  • Nebojša Vladisavljević
  • Herman Wasserman

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Mediating Democratization Conflicts: Communication Technologies, Journalism and Normative Ambiguities

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 33-33
    2. Katrin Voltmer, Lone Sorensen
      Pages 35-58
    3. Nic Cheeseman, Jacinta Maweu, Seth Ouma
      Pages 83-105
  3. Mobilizing Participation: Civil Society, Activism and Political Parties

  4. Communicating Power: Institution Building, Strategic Communication and Accountability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 183-183
    2. Nebojša Vladisavljević, Aleksandra Krstić, Jovica Pavlović
      Pages 205-228
  5. International Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 255-255
    2. Ines Drefs, Barbara Thomass
      Pages 257-279
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 297-305

About this book


This book investigates the role of media and communication in processes of democratization in different political and cultural contexts. Struggles for democratic change are periods of intense contest over the transformation of citizenship and the reconfiguration of political power. These democratization conflicts are played out within an increasingly complex media ecology where traditional modes of communication merge with new digital networks, thus bringing about multiple platforms for journalists and political actors to promote and contest competing definitions of reality. The volume draws on extensive case study research in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt and Serbia to highlight the ambivalent role of the media as force for democratic change, citizen empowerment, and accountability, as well as driver of polarization, radicalization and manipulation.


Democratization Regime transformation Post-transitional conflict Traditional media Online platforms Communist media Post-communist media

Editors and affiliations

  • Katrin Voltmer
    • 1
  • Christian Christensen
    • 2
  • Irene Neverla
    • 3
  • Nicole Stremlau
    • 4
  • Barbara Thomass
    • 5
  • Nebojša Vladisavljević
    • 6
  • Herman Wasserman
    • 7
  1. 1.University of LeedsLeedsUK
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  4. 4.University of OxfordOxfordUK
  5. 5.Ruhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  6. 6.University of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  7. 7.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

About the editors

Katrin Voltmer is Professor of Communication and Democracy at the University of Leeds, UK. 

Christian Christensen is Professor of Journalism at Stockholm University, Sweden.

Nicole Stremlau is Research Professor in the Humanities at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa and Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, at the University of Oxford, UK.

Irene Neverla is Professor Emerita at the Institute of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Hamburg, Germany.

Barbara Thomass is Professor for International Comparison of Media Systems at the Ruhr-University of Bochum, Germany.

Nebojša Vladisavljević is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

Herman Wasserman is Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Bibliographic information