Small and resistant: Europeanization in media governance in Slovenia and Macedonia

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Small and resistant: Europeanization in media governance in Slovenia and Macedonia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
This thesis contributes to our understanding of the role of European Union policy in
national level governance of the audiovisual media sectors in small states in South
East Europe. It compares the Republics of Slovenia and Macedonia, two countries of
similar size and population that emerged from the same former-Yugoslav media
system. Slovenia is a new EU member state and Macedonia is a candidate country,
therefore both are formally bound by EU audiovisual media policy. Europeanization
research, particularly in new Member States and candidate countries, has focused on
compliance with transposition deadlines and the implementation of specific EU
Directives. This study takes a bottom-up approach, making media governance its
object of study based on a conceptualisation of governance by Jan Kooiman (2003),
but still focused on identifying the role of the EU within that national level
governance. It draws on interviews with stakeholders in both countries, examination
of secondary data available on the respective media markets, and accounts from civil
society actors and regulators to arrive at an overall picture of media governance.
It finds that in these two cases the role of Europeanization, defined in this thesis in
relation to the EU, centres on the use of EU rules by domestic actors in order to
forward their strategic interests. It argues that the media sectors in these two cases
are largely resistant to Europeanization because of their small size and the particular
relations between media and political elites. This thesis suggests that the media
sector may be different from other sectors such as transport, environmental
protection, or labour in terms of Europeanization and governance because the role of
media in domestic politics. However, this is not a simple story of the democratic and
governance failures often attributed to Southern European countries. This thesis
shows the complexity in which Europeanization takes place, and highlights the
importance of market conditions and market players to this process.

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