International Political Communication

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Centre for Global Media and Communications

Module overview

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

• To provide a detailed understanding and critical interrogation of the theoretical literature on political communication and its applicability and relevance to non-Western contexts.
• To explore the changing face of politics and the growing significance of new media for emerging voices and subjectivities
• To address questions of representation and voice
• To critically explore the crisis in communication and its relation to the crisis of politics
• To critically evaluate the relationship between mediation and socio-political contexts

  • Students will understand the central theoretical issues in political communication and be able to apply them to non-Western settings.
  • Students will have had the opportunity to locate, research and analyze in some detail either a specific political communications issue in a non-Western context or a particular transnational use of media/communications within an international political dispute.
  • Students will have learned to critically evaluate and present media and internet source materials.


The module will be taught over 10 weeks with one 2 hour lecture/tutorial per week

Scope and syllabus

This module begins with the understanding that communication is constitutive of politics and that politics in essence is about its communication, through language, metaphor, image, discourse and other discursive modes and genres of communication. It provides an overview of the key theoretical and practical approaches in political communication theories, while simultaneously troubling the assumptions of dominant Western-centric approaches that focus on a narrow perception of politics and political subjectivities and a pre-determined view of media’s power, how the public receives information and the relationship between news media and power and/or economic elites. Adopting a de-colonising approach to the field, it uses empirical studies of mediation and communication from Asia, Africa and the Middle East in order to challenge ideal models of political communication, particularly in contexts of breakdown of the social and political order and continuous crisis. In looking at and comparing diverse examples emerging from Global South contexts, it re-examines the reigning metaphors in the field and questions its images for depicting politics and the media, asking where those pictures come from and for which purpose, and how diverse actors and collectivities imagine politics, envision communication, and political renewal through communication. By using case studies, the module works inductively to address some of the most urgent problems of the contemporary world – such as populism and authoritarianism , the state of the media and the state of politics.

Method of assessment

Assignment one – Book Review (1000 words); 20%
Assignment two - Essay (3000 words); 80%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules