Loughborough University
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The political economy of digital broadcasting: the case of South Korea

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posted on 2011-02-01, 16:51 authored by Im Joon Ahn
The main objective of this thesis was to examine three key questions concerning the political economy of digital broadcasting. First, the concept of digital broadcasting and its regulatory issues were investigated. Following the review of the related theories, I proposed a political economy of digital broadcasting framework as a theoretical perspective. Second, the factors influencing global digital broadcasting were examined. This research has investigated the main factors that influenced the regulatory changes and hardware and software markets around digital broadcasting at a global level. Finally, as a case study, I explore why and how the Korean government introduced digital broadcasting, setting this against the wider background of changing state-market relations. Various stakeholders have been involved in the digitisation of broadcasting at the national and global level. This process follows and forms the changing political economic configuration of the broadcasting industry of the nation-state facing neoliberal globalisation. To achieve the aims, the thesis uses archival research, questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews. I argue that the digitisation of broadcasting in South Korea has reflected the changing power relationships among state, market and. civil society in democratisation and globalisation. The consumer electronics manufacturers, telecommunication companies and the Ministry of Information and Communication have played pivotal roles in the introduction of digital broadcasting. The public broadcasters, press union and some civic organisations have played alternative roles in the process. In so doing, the role of the state has changed from one of authoritarian market formation to non-authoritarian market formation, market adjustment and coordinating different interests. The Korean state has the contradictory features of a neoliberal state, which has deregulated some areas such as broadcasting, telecommunications and financial markets, and played a role of entrepreneurial government at the same time.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies


© Im Joon Ahn

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en