Regulation beyond government: Weber, Foucault and the liberal governance of media content
Flew, Terry (2015) Regulation beyond government: Weber, Foucault and the liberal governance of media content. In Academic Research, New Media Technologies and the Culture of Control, 2-3 October 2015, University of Wollongong, N.S.W. (Unpublished)
This paper steps back from the question of how regulation of digital media content occurs, and whether it can be effective, to consider the rationales that inform regulation, and the ethics and practices associated with content regulation. It will be argued that Max Weber's account of bureaucratic expertise remains relevant to such discussions, particularly insofar as it intersects with Michel Foucault's concept of governmentality, and contemporary applications of the notion of 'governing at a distance'. The nature of the challenges to media regulators presented by online environments, and by digital and social media, are considered in depth, but it is argued that the significance of regulatory innovations that respond to such challenges should not be underestimated, nor should the continuing national foundations of media regulation. It will also discuss the relevance of the concept of 'soft law' to contemporary regulatory practice.
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