Political-economy concerns form the basis of international communication mediums. Since the initial design of railroads, intended to transport goods over broad regions for extended trade routes, communication has been politically and economically driven. Initially, communication was brought to the developing world to spread democracy and globalization, while supporting the political agenda of superpowers. While other factors, such as education, socialization, religion, and culture are substantial reasons for increased IC, the political-economy aspects that initially pioneered IC remain the driving reasons behind research and advocacy.
It seems that even social reforms, such as aid to developing countries, are part of a superpower’s desire to develop the country’s economic and political stability, with future trade access benefits. In addition, a developing country aided by the American government is more likely to adapt democratic and other politically important restructuring techniques that positively affect America. Thus, it appears that even social reforms, intended to benefit the developing country, have political and economic components that assist the superpower.
Furthermore, the political regime’s economic dynamic influences modes of communication. As scholar Dan Schiller admits, “in our era, in turn, capital’s demands predominate in redefining the social purposes and institutional functions of world communications”(IC reader, 122). As he suggests, social reforms and others are motivated by economic conditions, such as capitalism.
Thus, the political-economy concerns that initially drove the IC debate remain present today; the early ideas of communication (spreading the practices of an empire) persist. However, other concerns, such as education and culture, are vital factors in developing a country, and may become more important as conflict regions begin to restructure themselves. But until then, our democracy-driven, political-economic reforms, seem inevitable.