Abstract - The Information Society 20(3)

Civil Society and the Shaping of Communications-Information Policy: Four Decades of Advocacy

Milton Mueller, Christiane Pagé, and Brenden Kuerbis

This paper initiates exploratory empirical research on how civil society collective action has reacted to and affected communication-information policy, a policy domain that has been reshaped by technological and industrial change. It reviews the relevant theory on social movements, citizens groups and interest groups from political science. Data is gathered on two dimensions of the research question. 1) We quantify the number of public interest advocacy groups focused on CIP in the United States from 1961 to the present, using organizational ecology methods. 2) We track the number of U.S. Congressional hearings held each year on CIP issues. The results show that CIP now exceeds other social movement issues (women, civil rights, the environment, human rights) as a major concern of Congressional activity, that the issues are becoming more interdependent, and that modes of citizens advocacy have undergone drastic changes in recent years.

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