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Investigating Evolving Discourses on Human Rights in the Digital Age: Emerging Norms and Policy Challenges

Abstract : In a digital context that is profoundly transforming social interactions in different domains and at different levels, the label "communication rights" (CRs) has emerged in recent years suggesting the need to better articulate the principles and rights pertaining to communication processes in society: principles and rights which should be recognized as guidelines to set normative standards of behavior in such a transformed communicative environment. A plurality of reflections and initiatives have evolved around this concept, many of which stressed the need for a democratization of media systems, discourses and practices in a glocal environment that is more and more characterized by the diffusion and use of information and communication technologies that can be both democracy enabling - thanks to their potential in fostering transparency, publicity, and participation - but also democracy constraining, if we consider the several challenges posed by the possibility to interfere with and control individual data and personal communications, individual and collective access to information and people's freedom to express their views and ideas. Yet, the CRs concept remains controversial and further efforts are needed to contribute to a conceptual clarification that is required if such concept and related principles are to inform policy-making processes. We therefore propose a contribution that focuses on evolving discourses concerning fundamental rights and freedoms in communication societies, bringing our different disciplinary perspectives into a dialogue; we look at different settings where the discourse on human rights and communication is being elaborated, and we build on a shared constructivist approach to assess if we are in fact witnessing the emergence of communication rightsrelated norms in the transnational context.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 18, 2010 - 3:10:09 PM
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Francesca Musiani, Elena Pavan, Claudia Padovani. Investigating Evolving Discourses on Human Rights in the Digital Age: Emerging Norms and Policy Challenges. International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR); Annual congress on "Human Rights and Communication", Jul 2009, Mexico, Mexico. pp.359-378, ⟨10.1177/1748048510362618⟩. ⟨hal-00448231⟩

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