CIRCA:Claudia Padovani et al. "Investigating Evolving Discourses On Human Rights in the Digital Age: Emerging Norms and Policy Changes.”


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Padovani, Claudia et al. “Investigating Evolving Discourses On Human Rights in the Digital Age: Emerging Norms and Policy Changes.” International Communication Gazette 72.4/5(2010): 359-78.

Padovani’s co-authored article traces the digital spaces that communication rights and human rights discourses emerge in to construct a master frame for considering normative changes in a transnational context, meaning world politics. Using recent scholarly attention paid toward the democratization of media systems as a springboard, Padovani, Musiani, and Pavan, conduct an empirical investigation, including a database search and literary review, to extract common themes and construct semantic networks of the “evolution of human rights” (363) in the digital age. Three discursive spaces crop up as the main sites of development in communication and human rights discourses: making sense of situations, embodying judgments, and fostering capabilities. With the aid of an analytical framework, Padovani et al. manage the plural perspectives and epistemic communities involved in the evolution of communication and human rights discourses. They argue that “communication rights” is a label for a “conceptual container” (363) and acknowledge two strands or orientations from their master frame: conventional continuity and innovative development (365). These orientations, however, intersect with a number of other concepts addressed by the literature: theoretical issues, decision-making concerns, mobilization of collective action, media education, and transversal issues (363). Of these cross-sections, five general commonalities emerge which they describe as a “common vision” of “freedom, diversity, inclusion, participation, and the idea of knowledge as commons” (365). Despite an increase in the complexity of human rights and communication rights discourse since 2003, gaps persist in terms of addressing women’s rights, minorities and children, peace and security concerns, and issues of environment and sustainment (371). Lastly, these empirical investigations and the tracing of semantic networks illicit concern regarding the disparateness between policy-making bodies and the principles advocated by non-governmental agencies.
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