MC413 Half Unit
Information, Communication and Knowledge Systems
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Prof Robin Mansell FAW.6.01E
This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Data, Networks and Society, MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance) and MSc in Media, Communication and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
In order to accommodate academic staff research leave and sabbaticals, and in order to maintain smaller seminar group sizes, this course is capped, meaning that there is a limit to the number of students who can be accepted. Whist we do our best to accommodate all requests, we cannot guarantee you a place on this course.
This course examines how innovation and policy influence the development of digital technologies and the information, communication and knowledge environment they support. It critically assesses media and communications (and internet) policy and practice which aim to secure public benefit that is equitable, just and inclusive. Policy and practice influence, and are influenced by, institutional arrangements in distinctive political, social and cultural contexts. This course offers an opportunity to acquire an understanding of critical approaches to policy analysis in relation to information / knowledge societies and their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals. It explores dominant and alternative perspectives, comparing and contrasting their discourses and consequences. Students will critically assess developments in their own regions/countries and examine the reasons that policy formation and implementation are contested in this area, resulting in both empowering and disempowering outcomes.
1) Introduction: What are information or knowledge societies?
2) Digital Technologies and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Mainstream Views
3) Dominant Strategies for Assessing the Contribution of Digital Technologies to the SDGs
4) What is Critical Policy Analysis?
5) Using Critical Policy Analysis to Critiques Mainstream Views of the Contribution of Digital Technologies to the SDGs -
7) Critical Reflections on Digital Applications and SDGs I: Policy Communities and the Capabilities Approach
8) Critical Reflections on Digital Applications and SDGs II: Power Relations and Discourse Analysis
9) Applying Critical Policy Analysis to Digital Divide Debates
10) Applying Critical Policy Analysis to Governance of the Digital Environment Environment Debates
11) Conclusion: Influencing Digital Policy and SDG Debates for Equity, Inclusion and Justice.
10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.
All students are expected to complete advance reading, participate in seminar role playing tasks, and submit one essay of 1,500 words. Students will be encouraged to draw upon policy documents developed in their own countries as resources to inform their role playing.
Braum, K. (2015) ‘Between Representation and Narration: Analysing Policy Frames’ in F. Fischer, D. Torgerson, A. Durnova, and M. Orsini (eds) Handbook of Critical Policy Studies. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 441-461.
Cummings, S., Regeer, B., de Haan, L., Zweekhorst, M., and Bunders, J. (2017) ‘Critical Discourse Analysis of Perspectives on Knowledge and the Knowledge Society within the Sustainable Development Goals’, Development Policy Review, First Published 12 June.
ITU. (2017) Fast-Forward Progress: Leveraging Tech to Achieve the Global Goals. Geneva: International Telecommunication Union.
Kleine, D. (2013) ‘Applying the Capabilities Approach to ICT4D’, in Technologies of Choice? ICTs, Development, and the Capabilities Approach, pp. 17-54.
Maciel, M. L. and Albagli, S. 2010. ‘Knowledge Societies, Seen from the South: Local Learning and Innovation Challenges’. International Social Science Journal, 60(195): 97-107.
Schmidt, V. A. (2015) ‘Discursive Institutionalism: Understanding Policy in Context’ in F. Fischer, D. Torgerson, A. Durnova, and M. Orsini (eds) Handbook of Critical Policy Studies. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 171-189.
United Nations. (2017) The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2017. New York: United Nations.
Unwin, T (2017) Reclaiming Information and Communication Technologies for Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.
Student performance results
(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Department: Media & Communications
Total students 2017/18: Unavailable
Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable
Controlled access 2017/18: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Specialist skills
Course survey results
(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score
The scores below are average responses.
Response rate: 100%
Reading list (Q2.1)
Course satisfied (Q2.4)
This course examines how innovation and policy influence the development of digital technologies and the information, communication and knowledge environment they support.
Taught by different teacher this year. Previous year comments: "Interesting topic, really communicates a critical view of our everyday way of life - very valuable."