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Rethinking Political Economy: Change and Continuity

This contribution, written by three leading North American representatives of political economy of communication, was published in a complex and conflict-laden context, when this research tradition (again) had to provide a solid grounding for its continuing existence and relevance. Attacks on the approach have emerged both from within—i.e., the academia—as well as the wider social context, as it was widely claimed that critical political economy has become an irrelevant and insignificant approach for understanding society. With the victorious march of liberalism and capitalism, the key historical questions have supposedly already been answered. This contribution and its defensive stance—throughout the text, authors offer reasons why political economy should remain important, when everyone is dismissing it, and provide an overview of its key characteristics—must therefore also be read as an answer to these pressures that were neither completely new nor did they emerge for the first time, but were perhaps fiercest during this period. In the era marked by the deep crisis of capitalism and all time-high awareness of the immense growth of inequality, some arguments provided by authors might seem less important today, especially as the postmodern thought has by now been largely discredited. But ideas and arguments that political economy had to confront then remain similar throughout the history of social thought and often reemerge in different shapes and forms, while political economy of communication remains a marginalized approach that needs to continuously reaffirm its position as an indispensable research tradition.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 259 - Political Economy of Communication
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2015 , volume volume 43 , issue issue 259