Sunday, September 13, 2009

Relevancy of Political Economy Theory

The political economy approach and its individual components have served as a guiding structure for the field of international communication since the 1960's.  While there has been much praise and criticism revolving around this approach, its history of involvement in the development of global relations has secured it among the most important approaches to hold on to as the international communication field evolves. 

As Thussu noted in last week's reading, dependency, modernization, globalization, and hegemony are all important pieces of the political economy approach and should be used, even if selectively, in analyzing issues within global integration.  That being said, I think that one of the more important things for international communication scholars to keep in mind is the notion of policy formation within the realm of the political economy approach.  As nation-states continue to develop, business continues to become more transnational, and technology brings the global communication sphere into cyberspace, the importance of policy formation within our field is critical for keeping order, efficiency, and openness across all areas.   

The political economy approach is dealt a difficult task in trying to make sense of an ever-changing and sometimes fickle global communication structure.  However, its relevance is still very clear as we progress further into the 21st century and new developing countries become bigger players on the international field.  Its main challenge will be to balance the focus between transnational business and  smaller media outlets and maintain clarity within the foreign policy and media relations on the global spectrum and I look forward to watching the evolution of this approach in the coming years.

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