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Accepted Paper:

"The 'New' Media and Political Discourse in Central Asian and Transcaucasian Countries."  
Camila Rodionova (Institute of Eurasian Integration) Aigul Zhanadilova (Maqsut Narikbayev Institute for Networking and Development)


This study examines how the emergence of "new" media, namely the Internet and social networks, influences perceptions of politics in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. We explore the role of mass media in the public and political spheres, their association with electoral behavior, and their contribution to political mobilization. Data from large-scale quantitative surveys conducted in five countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Georgia) in December 2023 are utilized in this research.

We focus our attention on the countries of South and Central Asia, a region known to be one of the least democratic in the world. According to V-Dem, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are classified as electoral autocracies and closed autocracies. Georgia is among the 3% of countries in this region classified as electoral democracies. In this article, we conduct a comparative analysis of five countries—electoral autocracies, closed autocracies, and electoral democracies—and examine how the media context shapes political values and norms associated with habitus.

Our research is based on proprietary, unique data. For the first time in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus, such a comprehensive study on media consumption and political values has been conducted. Quantitative data on this topic have already been collected in Kazakhstan, as well as in other countries of this region. Data collection projects such as the World Values Survey (WVS) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) are underway in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A unique comparative study on media consumption and protest activity was conducted by a group of researchers including Bekmagambetov A., Gainous, J., and others in the countries of Central Asia. The uniqueness of our study lies in its comprehensive nature; we compare not only the countries of Central Asia (electoral and closed autocracies) but also conduct a comparative analysis including Georgia (an electoral democracy). Additionally, we meticulously and thoroughly examine the media context in these countries, studying in more detail the popularity of various media resources and analyzing the discourses created by mass media—such as support for war, anti-Americanism, and others. Furthermore, we delve more deeply into political values and perceptions of local and global politics.

Panel MED2
Dynamics of New Media: Challenges and Opportunities
  Session 1 Saturday 8 June, 2024, -