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Global civil society activism and the public interest in the debate on the future shape of spectrum

Rashid, I and Simpson, S 2016, Global civil society activism and the public interest in the debate on the future shape of spectrum , in: 2016 UK Political Studies Association conference, 21-23 March, Brighton. (Unpublished)

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This paper explores the positions of actors representing public interest goals in recent international policy activity around possible changes to the allocation of spectrum. Its focus is the lead up to the consideration of the future of the so-called 700 MHz and sub-700 MHz bands in the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Region 1 at the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) held in Geneva in November 2015. The paper finds is strong evidence of alignment by civil society with commercial and public service players from the broadcasting sector. This has been fruitful in securing a key part of the spectrum from the perceived incursions of the mobile communications industry. It provides further evidence of the increased sophistication of civil society actors operating in international policy-making environments. The paper’s findings also underscore how predominantly positioned ideas of the public interest remain in discussions on the future of communication media. Yet at the same time, there is evidence of moves to re-articulate the public interest in this sector in the key respects of what its constituents are/should be and the actors that are/should be charged with its delivery. This process has shown the significance of international civil society actors but simultaneously exposes the limited and highly specific conditions which need to be in place for them to exert influentially their preferences in international policy debates about the allocation of scarce and valuable communications resources.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Depositing User: Prof Seamus Simpson
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 15:38
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2016 13:25

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