By Ezzeddine Abdelmoula

Al Jazeera and Democratization analyses the expanding function of the media in political changes with a unique emphasis at the Arab global. Taking the Al Jazeera media community as a case examine, the writer explains how enticing the general public and delivering structures for open debate and unfastened expression contributed to the emergence of a brand new brilliant Arab public sphere.

The release of Al Jazeera in 1996 was once an important occasion that resulted in next adjustments either in Arab media and politics. between those adjustments, the Arab spring is unquestionably the main notable. This remarkable phenomenon has already ended in political switch in a couple of nations and is anticipated to generate a democratizing wave and reshape the face of the zone. The Arab spring offers us with a telling empirical instance the place the interaction among media and politics is take place. the general public sphere that has emerged out of this newly communicative surroundings has absolutely performed its function within the present political differences. during this context, Arab democratization isn't any longer an summary, it is extremely a constructing procedure that wishes our realization and calls for concerted scholarly efforts.

Highly topical, this ebook presents a clean theoretical viewpoint on Arab democratization in mild of the Arab Spring, and is vital analyzing for researchers and scholars of heart East Politics, Media stories and Democratization.

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The structural approach has been subject to criticism from different angles. The most apparent weakness of the structural approach is its failure to explain the short-term and sometimes sudden transitions to democracy. Its emphasis on long-term historical change does help in understanding such clearly empirical cases as those transitions of East and Central Europe. Advocates of agency theory, point to the failure of the structural approach to recognize the role of individuals and elites in the process of democratization.

In this state of affairs, Street claims, political arguments are trivialized, appearances matter more than reality, personalities more than policies, the superficial more than the profound. The responsibility for this degradation in the function of politics and the media is shared between politician and their spindoctors on the one hand, and the “supplicant media, which conspires in the erosion of democracy” (Street, 2001, p. 185). Much of the literature reviewed in this section shares the same perspective of “communications” studies and reproduces in different versions the liberal systemic conception of the relations between media and politics.

12). Transformations of the Arab media prior to Al Jazeera As part of the Muslim world, the Arab region, in particular, experienced a significant development with the advent of satellite television and the profound changes it brought with it from the mid-1990s. Live talk shows and open debates started to influence public opinion and shape public discourse beyond the closeddoor discussions of elites and civil society activists. Arab transnational media networks that first emerged in European capitals and gradually relocated their operations in the region started to attract important segments of viewers after state television in most Arab countries lost influence over their own publics.

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