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Privatization and Self-Regulation as Tropes of Global Media Restructuring

20 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2000  

Monroe E. Price

Cardozo Law School; Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy


There is a power to language itself in affecting media reform around the world. The field of media regulation is filled with examples of strong ideas, encapsulated in words and phrases, that have an enormous impact on legislative transformation, examples, too, where the export of these phrases seems a characteristic of globalization. Two such themes entering the central vocabulary are "Privatization" and "self-regulation."

Once local to the developed countries as a category or mode of discourse, these terms now are found in the idealized toolkit of change everywhere. These concepts have advanced or are advancing from being a mere descriptor of a technique to something closer to a point of advocacy, a measure of satisfaction in terms of a Western template.

These two concepts?privatization and self-regulation-are specifically part of the armament to lessen dependence of the media on government. Greater privatization and an emphasis on self regulation generally reduce the capacity of authoritarian entities to exercise control. Simultaneously, they are aspects of a global discourse that is central to a specific restructuring process: competition among multinationals may require autonomous private media entities engaged in terrestrial distribution.

JEL Classification: L96, K23

Suggested Citation

Price, Monroe E., Privatization and Self-Regulation as Tropes of Global Media Restructuring. Cardozo Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 010. Available at SSRN: or

Monroe E. Price (Contact Author)

Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy

Centre for Socio-Legal Studies Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Oxford, OX2 6UD
United Kingdom

Cardozo Law School ( email )

55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States
(212) 790-0402 (Phone)
(212) 790-0205 (Fax)

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