Mediatised transitions: Democratisation in an age of media abundance

Katrin Voltmer, Lone Sorensen

Research output: Working paper


This paper applies the concept of ‘mediatisation’ as a theoretical framework to transitional democracies. In doing so it addresses the question of how recent changes in the media environment impact on the dynamics and outcomes of struggles for democratic transition. The argument is based on two propositions: First, mediatisation is best understood as a transformative process that defies clear cause-effect attributions. Second, besides journalistic media as institutions of public communication, communication technologies have also to be considered as a crucial factor that drives the mediatisation of politics, and indeed transitional politics. We conclude by pointing out that mediatisation in emerging democracies is a multi-faceted and often ambiguous process that is shaped by the political, social and cultural context in which it takes place. It thus results in different configurations of the mediapolitics nexus than in established western democracies, at times serving to strengthen democratic transition, at others to undermine it.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMedia, Conflict and Democratisation (MeCoDEM)
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


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