Call for papers - Exploring flows and counter-flows of information along the New Silk Road
January 2, 2019
The “New Silk Road”, or in the Chinese official discourse, the “Belt & Road initiative一带一路” was launched in 2013 to reconnect China with countries in Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa and to establish different levels of cooperation with new partners. The complexity of this initiative is reflected in the diverse definitions provided by different stakeholders such as:
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious effort to improve regional cooperation and connectivity on a trans-continental scale. The initiative aims to strengthen infrastructure, trade, and investment links between China and some 65 other countries (The World Bank)
China's ambitious plan for linking Asia and Europe and Africa through new massive infrastructure projects (European Parliament)
- The Belt and Road Initiative is a systematic project, which should be jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all, and efforts should be made to integrate the development strategies of the countries along the Belt and Road. (Chinese Government)
Discussions about the New Silk Road and its relationship with all related regions had been mainly conducted in political and economic studies. Much less attention has been paid from the media and communication perspectives. This special issue is designed to fill in this gap by bringing scholars in media, communication, language and culture studies to analyse the ramifications of the “Belt and Road Initiative” for studies of transnational and cross-cultural communication.
The special issue is addressed to explore different public engagements and sentiments of the “Belt and Road Initiative” highlighting social, political and historical contexts. Framing the initiative also as a “social space generated in communicative action” (Habermas 1996, p. 360), we welcome studies with a more general perspective to analyse the initiative as a co-constructed practice within which the public is actively involved.
In line with the goal of Communication and the Public, we expect this special issue to provide insights on different public discourse (by social actors or official narrative) that include analysis of local knowledge, concerns, modes of arguments, value schemes, logics, and the like shared among ordinary people” (Hauser, 2011, p. 164).
Furthermore, from a more theoretical perspective this special issue has other three aims:
- It contributes to studies exploring past and present flows of information/communication along the ancient and new silk road;
- It develops a discussion on the up-to-date dynamics of information flows on an international level between China and different regions involved in the initiative;
- The third aim is to de-westernize communication research in search of new theoretical framework that offers richer cultural context to the present research framework.
We encourage submissions of topics include but are not limited to:
- News flow and narratives through/among countries related to the New Silk Road;
- Media production exchange or co-production between European and Chinese media companies;
- Media infrastructure studies along the New Silk Road;Media linguistic studies, discourse analysis and translation issues related to New Silk Road
- Media governance and media law across boarders;
This special issue is a follow-up publication from the 2018 ECREA Pre-Conference organized by China Media Observatory (CMO), Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG), at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in October 2018 thanks to the support of the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland and the City Government of Lugano.
Since 2006 CMO has been actively developing academic platforms to improve scientific dialogue between Europe and China such as Europe-China Dialogue: Media and Communication Studies Summer School.
Papers for consideration in this special issue should be submitted online and should indicate they are intended for inclusion in the special issue. For inquires, contact Gianluigi Negro at gianluigi [dot] negro [at] usi [dot] ch and Zhan Zhang zhan [dot] zhang [at] usi [dot] ch.
All manuscripts (6000-8000 words) should be submitted by March 31, 2019. All submitted manuscripts are subject to rigorous blind peer-review process. All accepted manuscripts will be published online first. The planned printed publication date is an issue of Communication and the Public in 2020. Submissions should conform to the editorial guidelines of the Communication and the Public found here.