Presented by A/Prof Adrian Athique, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

This paper considers the evolution of global media systems in parallel with the evolution of the international order of communication over the past half century. Its purpose is to address the relative absence of a civilizational scale of reference in media research in light of the evident centrality of media processes and cultural geographies to the very proposition of civilization. Taking account of the transition from national media institutions to supra-national markets in television, and the apparent dissolution of the World Wide Web into geolinguistic networks, this paper argues that media systems and their audiences provide a spatial rendering of civilizational mass as a feature of the world system. At the same time, I draw attention to the rupture between the time and space bias of media civilizations and persistent anxieties around a purported crisis of civilization emanating from cultural conservatives, political populists and violent extremists.

About Futures of International Order | Seminar Series

There is a widespread fear that the modern, ‘liberal’, international order is in crisis. Faced with multiple global challenges, from climate change and economic governance to nuclear arms control and global people movements, existing institutions increasingly appear outmoded, inefficient, and at times, dysfunctional. Meanwhile, existing institutional arrangements are being challenged by a diverse array of actors, from great powers (such as Russia) and transnational insurgents to right-wing nationalists. This university-wide seminar series is designed to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue on the possible futures of the modern international order. What challenges does it face, how will it evolve in the face of such challenges, what futures are desirable if it is to meet human and planetary needs?

Scholars are wrestling with these issues in a wide range of disciplines, from climate science and economics to history, philosophy, law, and political science. We have invited scholars from all fields currently working on issues relating to ‘futures of international order’ to present in this new seminar series. 

The Convenors of the program are Associate Professor Jacinta O’Hagan, Associate Professor Sarah Percy & Professor Chris Reus-Smit.

The seminars are run every fortnight through Semester 2 in 2019.

Seminars will be held at POLSIS:  Level 5 General Purpose North (39A) The University of Queensland St Lucia, QLD 4072 | Room 501