The Spectacle of Democracy

Spanish Television, Nationalism, and Political Transition


Richard Maxwell

Shows the changes in television in Spain following the demise of Franco and his dictatorship.

"A brilliant book on the political economy of global television. It uses a richly detailed analysis of Spain's cultural, political, and economic history as a case study for theorizing the role of television in redefining regional and national identity. . . ." --Marsha Kinder, author of Blood Cinema

In this age of increased global communication the media seem like juggernauts paving the way from dictatorship to democracy. Richard Maxwell's study of television in Spain overturns this myth of technological power. He shows us how transitions themselves have a profound impact on the media, as controllers of national television clash with commercial media promoters and with regionalists who want television to extend their nationalist politics and collective identity.
Maxwell's sophisticated analysis of the many variables shaping communication policy within the nation-state draws on a decade of research into Spanish culture, mass media, and political economy. Although focused on Spain, his work provides general insight into the nature of communication policy debates in today's globalized economy.
A study of the transformation of television in Spain following the end of Franco's dictatorship, Maxwell's book examines the politics of the privatization of television, the rise of regional television, and the transnational realignment of national media space.

Richard Maxwell is assistant professor in the department of radio, television, and film in the School of Speech at Northwestern University.

Richard Maxwell is a professor and chair of the Department of Media Studies at Queens College. He received his BA from the University of California at San Diego and his MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin. He has previously taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University . His recent publications include Herbert Schiller (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003) and the co-authored Global Hollywood 2 (British Film Institute, 2005).

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