Understanding Neoliberalism, Media and the Political: An Interview with Sean Phelan

sean phelanIn this interview, Sean Phelan discusses the differences between ‘ideological’ and ‘post-ideological’ or ‘post-political’ neoliberalism, and sets out his own approach to critiquing neoliberalism, which draws on Laclau and Mouffe’s discourse theory and Bourdieu’s field theory. Arguing for the benefits of a comparative cross-national approach, he illustrates examples of ‘actually existing neoliberalism’ in UK, US, Ireland and New Zealand contexts. Phelan concludes the interview by suggesting potential sites of cultural politics and the possibility of a radically different kind of media and political culture.

Available open access here: http://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/463




Neoliberalism, Voice and National Media Systems: An Interview with Terry Flew

terry flewIn this interview, Terry Flew discusses the continued relevance of the nation-state and national media systems in an era of globalization, and the need for cross-national comparative research in media studies. He also discusses the benefits of the concepts of ‘voice’ and ‘participation’ over ‘citizenship’ for evaluating media systems, and criticises the overblown and dismissive use of ‘neoliberalism’ as a rhetorical flourish, in favour of developing it as an analytical concept grounded in empirical evidence. Drawing on Foucault’s work on both Weber and neoliberalism, Flew argues, helps us recognise the need for comparative work on institutions and national systems of government.

Available open access here: http://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/467




Media Policy, Media Reform and Media Power: An Interview with Des Freedman

des-freedman-2In this interview, Des Freedman discusses his work as an activist in the Media Reform movement, as a critic of media policy, and as a theorist of media power. Freedman explains his approach to media power as a material and relational property, distinguishing it from liberal pluralist, cultural studies and political-economic approaches. Discussing media power in the context of the recent BBC charter review process and the earlier Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press, Freedman clarifies his proposal for a research focus on ‘non-decisionmaking’ in the policy field. Ultimately, he explains how guiding principles, programmes of action, and an understanding of the contradictory nature of media power are all necessary to bring about revolutionary reform.

Available open access here: http://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/461



Standard Issue featuring Special Section of Interviews on Neoliberalism, Media and Power (July 2016)

meccsa pgn logo

Networking Knowledge – Journal of the MeCCSA-PGN, Vol 9, No 5 (2016)

Standard Issue featuring Special Section of Interviews on Neoliberalism, Media and Power

Featuring articles from Amanda Starling Gould, Carol Macgillivray, Jane Birkin, Leah Jerop Komen and Isla-Kate Morris; a review essay from Christoph Raetzsch; reports from Abigail Blyth and Craig Hamilton; and interviews with Des Freedman, Terry Flew and Sean Phelan as part of a special section on neoliberalism, media and power.

Full issue available open access here: http://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/issue/view/55


Just Because You Write about Posthumanism Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t a Liberal Humanist: An Interview with Gary Hall

gary hall

Just Because You Write about Posthumanism Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t a Liberal Humanist: An Interview with Gary Hall

Francien Broekhuizen, Simon Dawes, Danai Mikelli, Poppy Wilde



In this follow-up interview to his keynote lecture at the MeCCSA-PGN 2015 Conference in Coventry, Gary Hall discusses the processes of neoliberal subjectivation and the metricisation of the academy. Arguing that most media, communication and cultural studies critique tends to focus on the new, self-governing and self-exploitative subjects academics and students are transforming into rather than the scholarly subjectivities they are changing from, Hall maintains that both the new neoliberal model (associated with corporate social and mobile media) and the liberal humanist model (associated with conventional print-on-paper publishing) are involved in the subordination of scholarly agency and consciousness to the pre-programmed, controllable patterns of the capitalist culture industries. Taking in some of the open access initiatives with which he’s involved, the interview addresses both Hall’s account of the processes of neoliberalisation and his experiments with radically different ways of working and thinking as a media theorist and philosopher.