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Table of Contents

Politicians, the Press and Lobbying

Jacob H. Rowbottom, University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

The Efficiency of Terrorist Choice: A Risk-Reward Analysis

Gabriela Pohl, University of Southern Queensland - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts

The Role of the Media in a Democracy: The Asian Perspective

Saifuddin Ahmed, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

Thinking Slow About Sexual Assault in the Military

Matthew David Burris, United States Airforce

Sponsored by Institute for the Study of the Judiciary,
Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University

"Politicians, the Press and Lobbying" Free Download
Journal of Media Law (2013)
Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper Forthcoming

JACOB H. ROWBOTTOM, University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

The Leveson Report highlighted the extent to which newspapers have lobbied government in relation to media policy, and put forward proposals to make government/media relations more transparent. This article considers whether media lobbying poses any specific concerns in a democracy. In addressing this question, it draws a comparison with political finance and also asks whether lobbying relationships can undermine the watchdog function of the press. The article goes on to consider whether the transparency rules are an effective measure in tackling these concerns, or whether other types of control may be necessary.

"The Efficiency of Terrorist Choice: A Risk-Reward Analysis" Free Download

GABRIELA POHL, University of Southern Queensland - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts

This paper presents an economic analysis of terrorist choice in a context where media coverage is the desired payoff. Terrorist groups are depicted as maximising an expected utility function with two relevant parameters: risk (variance of payoffs) and reward (average payoff). This theoretical framework provides a clearer picture of terrorist choice in this particular context and permits the relative ‘efficiency’ of different groups’ decisions to be assessed. Using data for the period 1970 to 1980 in the Federal Republic of Germany, the average media coverage is computed for the relevant terrorist actions. Along with the variance of this recorded media coverage, a positive concave trade-off between average media coverage and the probability that the actual outcomes of an action will generate more or less media coverage than expected is shown to characterise the terrorism context. Against this ‘efficient’ or optimal trade-off between risk and reward the decisions of each active terrorist group in allocating resources to different attack method categories are assessed. The analysis allows conclusions to be drawn regarding the optimality of terrorist groups’ resource allocations. Among the several findings that emerge is relative efficiency of the resource allocations of the Red Army Faction (RAF), which was known to be particularly media ‘savvy’. The RAF’s resource allocations across the period under consideration would, given the structure of media coverage accorded to different attacks carried out by all groups, generate an almost optimum expected payoff at the group’s chosen level of risk. In addition to these micro-level findings, the analysis presented in this paper shows a clearer picture of the decision-making process of terrorist groups in a context where those groups attempt to maximise the media coverage accorded to their actions.

"The Role of the Media in a Democracy: The Asian Perspective" Free Download
Journal of Society and Communication, 2013, 447-491

SAIFUDDIN AHMED, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information

The role of the mass media as the Fourth Estate in our society has been largely discussed and debated over years. At times, the media as a watchdog under consistent scrutiny does not live up to ideals because of various constraints (not limited to) of ownership, laws, threats, state control or the lack of resources. However we believe the media still has an enormous role to play in a democratic society and it can act as an informative, social and peace keeping force, especially during emergency and conflict situations. Nonetheless it can play this positive role in a democracy only if there is a facilitating societal milieu that allows them to do so.

We study three important episodes spread over time in – Operation Bluestar of India (1984), Twitter revolution of Iran (2009), and the SARS epidemic of China (2002) to emphasize the freedom media requires to function in a democratic society to be an integral player in democratization and how it ensures freedom of speech in a society. We also highlight how emergence of new forms of media is transforming this role.

"Thinking Slow About Sexual Assault in the Military" Free Download
Matthew Burris, Thinking Slow About Sexual Assault in the Military, 22 Buff. J. Gender, L., & Soc. Pol’y ___ (2014-2015), Forthcoming

MATTHEW DAVID BURRIS, United States Airforce

This article examines the current public discourse on sexual assault in the military through the complementary lenses of behavioral economics and the law. The article evaluates the "crisis" narrative central to this discourse and suggests it is not supportable by the best available data. Moreover, the article suggests that in driving potentially counterproductive public policy initiatives, this narrative is harmful to victims of sexual assault. The article recommends several practical steps the Department of Defense might take in the near-term to expose and rebut this harmful narrative and forestall these potentially counterproductive public policy initiatives. These steps include a reappraisal of the rhetoric senior DoD officials employ when speaking publically about the very real problem of sexual assault in the military, as well as advocating for a "whole of government" approach to gathering data on sexual assault and its victims. The article suggests the evidence-based prevention and response solutions impelled by these data hold out the best hope for reducing the incidence of sexual assault in the military.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media (IJPM) at Syracuse University.

Legal systems operate in a complex environment of principle, political pressure, and media coverage. The goal of the Law, Politics, and the Media subject eJournal is to distribute abstracts of working papers and articles that promote a more integrated understanding of law, courts, and their environment. To this end, the eJournal seeks scholarship that addresses any combination of legal, political, and media-related themes in the analysis of legal institutions, beliefs, and practices. The eJournal is open to work from the social sciences, the humanities, and the legal academy. Papers and articles that focus on the United States, as well as scholarship that is comparative or international in scope, are welcome.


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Advisory Board

Law, Politics & the Media eJournal

Reporter, SCOTUSblog

John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington

Supreme Court Correspondent, Legal Times/Incisive Media

Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for Advancement of Citizenship; Director, Comparative Law and Society Studies (CLASS) Center, University of Washington - Department of Political Science

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science, Amherst College