Epistemological (Im)possibilities and the Play of Power: Effects of the Fragmentation and Weak Institutionalisation of Communication Studies in Europe

Louise Phillips


This article is about the marginalization of communication studies in the European research and education landscape. The central thesis is that the fragmentation and weak institutionalization of communication studies entail its marginalization in the competition for legitimacy. As a result, they stunt the growth of critical, collaborative approaches to communication theory and practice, with the potential to challenge the theoretically thin, instrumental approaches to communication analysis flourishing in the neoliberal knowledge economy. The article takes its starting point in the debate about the fragmentation of media and communication studies, and then discusses the fragmentation of communication studies in Europe, considers the consequences for critical communication scholarship in the neoliberal knowledge regime, and sketches out some ideas for dealing with those consequences.




communication theory, dialogue, European communication studies, fragmentation, media and communication studies, neoliberal university, power

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