Conferences

11th Meeting of the ICANN Studienkreis

Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Budapest, 28-29 April 2011

The Center for Media and Communication Studies co-sponsored an international conference of the ICANN-Studienkreis on Internet governance. The ICANN-Studienkreis brings together stakeholders from the private sector, academia, civil society, media and the government for annual high level expert seminars on subjects related to Internet governance and the development of ICANN.

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Internet at Liberty 2010

International conference at CEU, 20-22 September 2010

Google and Central European University teamed up to co-sponsor the international conference Internet at Liberty 2010, which addressed the complex issues facing the development of the Internet as a global, free and open space. 

The conference brought together hundreds of activists, bloggers and officials from the public and private sector to explore the often controversial policy issues of Internet communication. The conference program addressed the boundaries of online free expression; the complex relationship among technology, economic growth and human rights; the ways in which dissidents and governments are using the Internet; and urgent policy and legal issues of online communication such as privacy and cybersecurity. 

Workshops aimed at activists, bloggers and NGOs brought together the world's leading practitioners of internet activism to discuss how to protect oneself online and harness various technologies for social change initiatives. With the exception of those workshops, all events were broadcast live online.

Google and CEU teamed up to co-sponsor the international conference Internet at Liberty 2010, which addressed the complex issues facing the development of the Internet as a global, free and open space. The conference brought together hundreds of activists, bloggers and officials from the public and private sector to explore the often controversial policy issues of Internet communication. The  program addressed the boundaries of online free expression; the complex relationship among technology, economic growth and human rights; the ways in which dissidents and governments are using the Internet; and urgent policy and legal issues of online communication such as privacy and cybersecurity. 

Workshops aimed at activists, bloggers and NGOs brought together the world's leading practitioners of internet activism to discuss how to protect oneself online and harness various technologies for social change initiatives. With the exception of those workshops, all events were broadcast live online.

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Democracy and Legitimacy: Dealing with Extremism

International conference at CEU, 22-23 July 2010

Organized by Central European University's Department of Political Science, Department of Philosophy, and Center for Media and Communication Studies (CMCS), in cooperation with the International Senior Lawyers Project and the International Media Lawyers Association, with additional support from the Open Society Justice Initiative.

Twenty years after the fall of Communism, Europe is witnessing a significant rise in support for right-wing political parties. Extreme-right political parties have fared well recently in the UK, Bulgaria, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Hungary. Many analysts suggest that people are turning to extremist groups as a reaction to (what they perceive as) shortcomings of democratic regimes.

In the face of these developments, several questions arise: what resources do democracies have to resist far-right parties? How should liberal democracy respond to illiberal groups? What challenges do they pose to the limits of free speech? What should the response to "hate speech" be? The central mission of the conference was to discuss how the recent ‘turn to the right’ might affect liberal democracy and what can be done about it, and to do so from a theoretical and a practical perspective, with experts in political theory, legal studies, public and social policy.

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The Content and Context of "Hate Speech": Rethinking Regulation and Remedies

Conference at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, 13 May 2010

Organized by the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, and the CMCS.

The conference sought to reinvigorate and advance the debate over regulating "hate speech" and what constitutes "reasonable" regulation. It featured Robert Post, Dean of Yale Law School, as keynote speaker. Panelists reviewed subjects such as "hate speech" and religion; "hate speech", discrimination and segregation; incitement to genocide; and the significance of content and context in harm and danger related arguments for regulating "hate speech".

It was the closing event of a weekly colloquium on the same subject. Both the conference and the colloquium were convened by Peter Molnar, CMCS, and Michael Herz, Cardozo School of Law, on the basis of their forthcoming book The Content and Context of "Hate Speech": Rethinking Regulation and Remedies.

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Alternative Culture Now

International conference at CEU, 8-10 April 2010

Organized by the Alternative Culture Center and the University of Alberta, Canada, with support from CEU's Curriculum Resource Center, the CMCS and the Open Society Institute’s Higher Education Support Program.

Scholars from Eastern and Western Europe, post-Soviet countries and North America came together at the conference to discuss the role and shape of the alternative in contemporary culture and politics. Ranging from open source economics to literature, from precariousness to architecture, and from sound art to education, the conference topics traced the location and nature of the alternative in a variety of areas. Alternative media provided fruitful grounds for analyzing the fate of the alternative. CMCS Director Kate Coyer moderated a panel on 'Media Alternatives: What Happens Now?', in which CMCS Research Fellow Arne Hintz discussed the transformation of alternative media towards constituting a recognized social force and an integral part of the media landscape.

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Beyond East and West: Two Decades of Media Transformation After the Fall of Communism

International conference at CEU, 25-27 June 2009

Organised by the CEU/CMCS, the COST A30 Action "East of West: Setting a New Central and Eastern European Media Research Agenda" and the International Communication Association (ICA). Co-sponsored by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, the Open Society Institute (OSI), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Austrian Cultural Forum.

The three-day CMCS conference Beyond East And West: Two Decades Of Media Transformation After The Fall Of Communism brought together 250 leading and emerging media scholars in over fifty parallel sessions, with plenaries featuring Miklós Haraszti, Sonia Livingstone, Elihu Katz, Barbie Zelizer, Monroe Price, Slavko Splichal, Colin Sparks and James Curran.

Key questions the 250 participating scholars probed included: To what degree have free and independent media systems and an open public discourse emerged? What are the likely future trajectories of media development? How can comparative analysis help us better understand media development and the transition processes as a whole?

The conference website includes an overview of themes and speakers. Following up on the conference, the CMCS will publish two edited volumes, one around the conference theme, and another with selected papers from the freedom of speech sessions.

From Secret Service to Public Service

International conference at CEU, 3 November 2006

Supported by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Hungarian Public Television (MTV), the CEU/CMCS, Antenna Hungária and the COST A30 Action "East of West: Setting a New Central and Eastern European Media Research Agenda".

The conference was a meeting of top European and Hungarian media policy makers and experts. The conference explored issues related to the independence of public service media, probing the question how national media legislation and European regulations can guarantee true political and financial independence for public broadcasters.

Participants of the conference also investigated future dilemmas of European public service media. How can public media be successful in the digital environment of the 21st century? How can taxpayers' support of public media be maintained? How can citizens access archival materials in the context of digital convergence? It was particularly important to raise these questions at a time when European policy makers were revising the Television Without Frontiers Directive.

Conference schedule and information

Influencing Outcomes: Communications Research and Global and Regional Policy Transformations

Pre-conference for the International Communication Association (ICA) 2006 at CEU, 16-17 June 2006

Sponsored by the ICA's Philosophy of Communication Division and Political Communication Division. Organised by the CEU/CMCS; the Project for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania; and the COST A30 Action European Media Scholars Network.

The pre-conference, which was organised ahead of the 2006 ICA conference in Dresden on "Networking, Communication, and Research," focused on the relationship between research and policymaking. How can the scholarly community impact the policy agenda and influence policymaking institutions?

Participants engaged in a critical dialogue to advance an agenda for future research on issues related to how media laws and policies affect and impact democratization and social transition.

Conference program

Hate Speech from the Streets to Cyberspace

International conference at CEU, 31 March - 1 April 2006

Organised by the CEU/CMCS, the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, the Hungarian Ministry of Informatics and Telecommunications, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Open Society Justice Initiative.

The conference gathered academics, representatives of international organizations, practitioners and NGO activists to develop policy-oriented suggestions concerning the regulation/non-regulation of hate speech in various contexts, share cases of best practice, and launch ideas for innovative empirical research.

Outline / Program

Re:activism - International Conference on the Fate of Activism in the Digital Age

International conference at CEU, 14 - 16 October 2005

Organised by the CEU/CMCS, the Open Society Institute, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME).

The conference addressed what role social activism can play in the broad process in which emerging new media technologies transform existing structures of cultural, economic and political power. Participants discussed questions related to new social movements (anti-globalization, environmental activism, anti-corporate campaigns); traditional and new forms of community media (free radios, P2P networks, blogs, forums, etc); ICTs and local civil societies; the role of new media in fighting the waste of traditional non-Western knowledge; conflicts over the control of production and distribution of culture and information. Keynote speakers included Lawrence Lessig from Stanford University.

More information on the conference, including a presentation of the panels and the text of individual papers, is available on the website of the BME Media Study and Research Centre (MOKK).

Sunshine on Public Data

International Conference at CEU, 26 October 2004

Organised by the CEU/CMCS and the Hungarian Ministry for Informatics and Communication, with support from the Council of Europe.

Participants in this conference on the regulation of access to electronic public information attended sessions and took part in roundtable discussions on the significance of freedom of information, freedom of information from an international point of view, and the challenges involved in extending the freedom of electronic information.

Presentations were given by László Sólyom, former President of the Constitutional Court of Hungary (and later President of Hungary); László Majtényi, President of Eötvös Károly Institute; Helena Jäderblom, Council of Europe expert and Director, Ministry of Justice, Sweden; and José Octavio López Presa, Commissioner at the Freedom of Information Institute in Mexico. Roundtable participants included Kálmán Kovács, the Hungarian Minister of Informatics and Communications. Practitioners from Index.hu, Figyelô/Info Rádió, HVG, Népszava and Népszabadság took part in a roundtable on the impact of the regulation of information on investigative journalism.

Program