Political economy of the media


political economy of the mediaOur research sketches a profound picture of how digital technology (more specifically the Internet) is reshaping the ecosystem for (new) media content and ICT services. We research on how this transformation has to be understood within the wider frame of the socio-cultural, regulatory and economic context of media production, distribution and consumption.

We help societal stakeholders as media consumers, policymakers and industry leaders deal with technology’s disruptive impact on the use, policies and economics of (new) media content and ICT services.

Our research is rooted in the political economy tradition. This tradition deals with structures of power and control in the production, distribution and consumption of media products and information services.

It relies upon different schools of thinking:

  • Critical theory
  • Classical (media) economics
  • Institutional economics
  • Cultural industries

We use a multidisciplinary approach combining insights from:

  • Media studies
  • Sociology
  • Policy studies
  • Economics
  • History
  • Law


  • Document analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Expert interviews
  • Stakeholder workshops
  • Comparative case studies

Current Projects

Key Publications

  1. Evens, T.; Iosifidis, P. & Smith, P. (2013). The Political Economy of Television Sports Rights. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  2. Evens, T. (2013). The political economy of retransmission payments and cable rights fees: implications for private television companies. In K. Donders; C. Pauwels & J. Loisen (Eds.), Private Television in Western Europe: Content, Markets, Policies (pp. 182-196). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. Evens, T. & Donders, K. (2013). Broadcast market structures and retransmission payments: a European perspective. Media, Culture & Society, 35(4), 415-432.
  4. Verdegem, P. & Fuchs, C. (2013). Towards a participatory, co-operative and sustainable information society? A critical analysis of Swedish ICT policy discourses. Nordicom Review, 34(2).
  5. Evens, T. & Paulussen, S. (2012). Local radio policies in Europe: policy options and recommendations for a sustainable sector. Media, Culture & Society, 34(1), 113-122.
  6. Verdegem, P. & De Marez, L. (2011). Rethinking determinants of ICT acceptance: towards an integrated and comprehensive overview. Technovation, 31(8), 411-423.
  7. Verdegem, P. (2011). Social media for digital and social inclusion: challenges for information society 2.0 research & policies. Triple C – Cognition, Communication, Co-operation, 9(1), 28-38.
  8. Evens, T.; Verdegem, P. & De Marez, L. (2010). Balancing public and private value for the digital television era. Javnost – the Public, 17(1), 37-54.
  9. Verdegem, P.; De Marez, L.; Hauttekeete, L. & Evens, T. (2010). Analogue switch-off vs. digital switch-on: rethinking policy strategies in the digital television era. Communication, Politics and Culture (special issue ‘Digital Television: Emerging Markets and Challenges for Policy Making’), 43(2), 132-143.
  10. Verdegem, P. & Verhoest, P. (2009). Profiling the non-user: rethinking initiatives stimulating ICT acceptance. Telecommunications Policy, 33(10-11), 642-652.
  11. Verdegem, P. & Verleye, G. (2009). User-centered e-government in practice: a comprehensive model for measuring user satisfaction. Government Information Quarterly, 26(3), 487-497.


Further questions?

Contact Prof. dr. Pieter Verdegem: Pieter.Verdegem@UGent.be