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Event Assaults on the Fourth Estate: Explaining Media Harassment
When Tuesday, April 16, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Event details
Details Lecturer: Peter VonDoepp,Ph.D.,Associate Professor for Comparative Politics and African Politics at the University of Vermont.

How do we understand patterns of government interference with media outlets in Africa’s transitional polities? Drawing on a novel dataset that tracks the extent and character of government actions against the media in twenty-three different African countries, this presentation will offer insight into this question. VonDoepp argues governments seek to control the circulation of information more during some periods than others. In particular, when governments face the prospect of being displaced or destabilized, and when they are seeking to enhance or extend their power via constitutional changes, their interests in corralling the free media should be heightened. The analysis reveals that government harassment of media outlets increases in the context of major public protests, revelations of coup plots, and when governments are seeking to amend constitutions in their favor. This offers insight into the ways that changing political contexts affect the health of the private media.

About the Guest Speaker:
Peter VonDoepp, Ph.D., is Associate Professor for Comparative Politics and African Politics at the University of Vermont.Professor VonDoepp focuses on African politics with specific attention to democratization-related issues. His most recent work examines the politics of judicial development in new southern African democracies. He is co-editor of The Fate of Africa's Democratic Experiments: Elites and Institutions (Indiana, 2005). His work appears in Studies in Comparative International Development, Political Science Quarterly, Journal of Modern African Studies, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics and several edited volumes. His courses include Religion and Politics, Comparative Democratization and African Politics.

This event is free and open to the public. A Q&A session will follow the lecture.
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Sponsors The African Studies Program
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