Abstract - The Information Society 20(3)

Beyond Interests, Ideas, and Technology: An Institutional Approach to Communication and Information Policy

Hernan Galperin

This paper examines the theoretical assumptions generally used in communication and information policy studies, and suggests that more attention to the institutional determinants of public policies is needed. The first part discusses three alternative theoretical approaches: the interest group approach, the ideological approach, and the technology-centered approach. The second part outlines the conceptual tools of the new institutionalism approach and discusses its application for the study of regime change in telecoms and media. The third part presents an abbreviated example of such application to the case of US spectrum policies and the licensing of digital broadcasting. The conclusion suggests new directions for research aimed at broadening the set of social actors participating in the global governance of new technologies.

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