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Sandra Braman

Sandra Braman is Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the editor of Communication Researchers and Policy-Making (MIT Press, 2003).

Titles by This Author

Information, Policy, and Power

As the informational state replaces the bureaucratic welfare state, control over information creation, processing, flows, and use has become the most effective form of power. In Change of State Sandra Braman examines the theoretical and practical ramifications of this "change of state." She looks at the ways in which governments are deliberate, explicit, and consistent in their use of information policy to exercise power, exploring not only such familiar topics as intellectual property rights and privacy but also areas in which policy is highly effective but little understood. Such lesser-known issues include hybrid citizenship, the use of "functionally equivalent borders" internally to allow exceptions to U.S. law, research funding, census methods, and network interconnection. Trends in information policy, argues Braman, both manifest and trigger change in the nature of governance itself.After laying the theoretical, conceptual, and historical foundations for understanding the informational state, Braman examines 20 information policy principles found in the U.S Constitution. She then explores the effects of U.S. information policy on the identity, structure, borders, and change processes of the state itself and on the individuals, communities, and organizations that make up the state. Looking across the breadth of the legal system, she presents current law as well as trends in and consequences of several information policy issues in each category affected.

Change of State introduces information policy on two levels, coupling discussions of specific contemporary problems with more abstract analysis drawing on social theory and empirical research as well as law. Most important, the book provides a way of understanding how information policy brings about the fundamental social changes that come with the transformation to the informational state.

Titles by This Editor

Edited by Sandra Braman

As the global information infrastructure evolves, the field of communication has the opportunity to renew itself while addressing the urgent policy need for new ways of thinking and new data to think about. Communication Researchers and Policy-making examines diverse relationships between the communication research and policy communities over more than a century and the issues that arise out of those interactions. The book provides primary material in the form of reports on such relationships spanning time periods, subject matter, policy issues, decision-making venues, and governments.The essays range from historical pieces on the importance of communication research since the beginning of systematic policy analysis and on the various roles that researchers can play to contemporary analyses of contributions of research to policy debates over network design and access, media violence, and advertising fraud. Substantial interstitial essays by the editor explore the impact of the policy context on communication theories and research practices, relationships between researchers and their institutional homes, the role of communication researchers as public intellectuals, and ways to maximize the impact of communication research on policy-making during this period of infrastructural transformation. The book includes an extensive bibliography.