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Media, Instability, and Democracy: Examining the Granger‐Causal Relationships of 122 Countries From 1946 to 2003

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Using cross‐national time‐series data in sequences of Granger causality tests, this study analyzed the democratic effects of media technologies with a sample of 122 countries. This process revealed that communication technologies are vital, but not exclusive or universal prerequisites of democratic growth. As expected by media system dependency (MSD) theory, media diffusion was shown to have Granger‐caused democracy only in countries where media served more information functions or where sociopolitical instability levels were higher. Results further indicated that media diffusion is central to the development of sociopolitical instability, which suggests certain direct and indirect macrolevel democratic effects of mass media diffusion. The conditions of MSD theory observed here also demonstrated an integrative relationship with the economic development thesis.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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