Accueil > Media & democracy

IFCO 2305 - Media & Democracy

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

The course will first give a short historical perspective of the relationship between media and democracy by focusing on some of the major philosophical ideas and international conventions related to the role of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in a democratic system. (Class 1) Secondly, the course will cover some of the ethical challenges facing media in democratic societies, focusing on issues such as privacy, accuracy/media bias, national security and hate speech. Case studies will focus on European and American media. (Classes 2&3) Third, certain specific economic aspects of the media will be studied such as the media as a two-sided market and competition in the market for news. (Class 4) Fourth, the class will focus on the role of both traditional media and web in public policies and in election time; on the making as well as on the impact of fake news on election campaigns; on global governance and social media (the right to privacy and the regulatory debate). (Classes 5-7) Fifth, the course will provide an analysis of various legal and political instruments which can be used to protect or to pressure media both in democratic and non-democratic countries. Different forms of economic pressure through ownership and advertising and their impact on media will also be studied. Examples will relate to media from Western Europe, the US, Russia and China. (Classes 8-10) Finally, various aspects of media and development such as media as instrument in promoting economic growth and social development, role of media in fighting corruption, media and corporate governance, government accountability and public good provision will also be discussed. (Classes 11&12) The course is based on research papers by several European and American economists and will focus on the countries mentioned in the above description.


  • AGHION, Philippe M. (Professor of Economics, Harvard)
  • BERNER, Bénédicte (Présidente du Conseil, Civil Rights Defenders)
  • BLOJ, Ramona (Etudiante)
  • GHANNOUCHI, Ramzi (Doctorant)

Course validation

Mid-exam (2 hours) will consist of four essay questions (50%) Final exam (2 hours) will consist of one longer essay (50%) Please note that the exams will take place during the periods dedicated to the midterm and final exams at Sciences Po.

Required reading

  • The Reader (on the website of the class)
  • Abstracts of research papers mentioned in the syllabus for the relevant classes
  • Surveys mentioned in the syllabus
  • Documentary film “Citizenfour”, by Laura Poitras, with Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald

Plans de cours et bibliographies