The Spectacle of Democracy was first published in 1994. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
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.