Research Projects

Research Projects

The existence of this website, it is hoped, will facilitate the design and dissemination of a wide variety of research projects on the right to communicate. Suggestions for a few possible projects are provided below. Given the complexity of many of interesting research questions on the right, it probably would be wise to run one or more pilot studies before embarking on a full scale project.


A few salient problem areas where research is needed are listed below:

  • Interdependence. Specific communication rights, each of the nine of them, appear to have a working range which, when exceeded, generate problems.
  • Responsibility. When local communication activities can have global consequences, how communicate responsibly?
  • Resources. How develop and deploy - globally - the resources required for interactive and participatory communication?
  • Culture. How take into account both the diversity of cultures and a decent respect for the communication rights of others?
  • Education. How best develop, test and distribute educational materials for the various educational levels?
  • Policy. How develop and implement a fair world communication rights policy?

These are but a few of the obvious problem areas on which research is needed at this time. This list could be much longer.

Projects in Progress

At this time, the following projects on the right to communicate as a whole or on one or more specific communication rights are in process.

An analysis of the possibility of the creation of a new human right to participate in the information society

McKenna, Alan Vincent, in process.

[At the time this abstract was obtained from the author, Alan Vincent McKenna was a doctoral student at the University of Kent at Canterbury.]

The belief that we are entering a new societal phase following on from the agricultural and industrial ages has been forwarded since the 1960's, with at the heart of this new age the use of information technology. The information society has become the term most commonly used to describe this new age, with politicians, academics, governmental organizations and NGOs all espousing its vital importance.

If we have entered a 'new age,' is it possible to find particular characteristics that go to make up an information society? What is the importance of the information society idea? Is it global or local in nature? What are the implications for women, men, children and communities across the globe?

My research looks at whether it is possible as yet to ascertain particular characteristics that go to make up a so-called information society in order to discuss whether we are looking at something of fundamental importance for mankind. If this is the case then can we consider it to be of such importance that it should be thought of in terms of the language of human rights? Can an argument be put forward that individuals and communities, from the poorest to the wealthiest, have a right to meaningful participation in the information society, thus enabling them to use the new technologies to enhance their lives?

Is communication a basic human right? A historiography of intellectuals contributions

Aliaa Dakroury, in process.

The study begins with an introduction to the Greeks (Plato, Aristotle, the School of Stoics) and the Romans (mainly Cicero). An examination of the Milton Arepagitica follows along with several writings by Locke, Mill on Liberty and then Rousseau, Voltaire, Kant, Bentham and Marx. The author then argues that treating communication as an 'absolute' right available to 'anyone, including criminals' may lead to problems (i.e. hate speech, propaganda, pornography and memoires of criminals). The study concludes with a possible solution for this problem that builds on the conditions for an Ideal Speech Situation proposed by Jurgen Habermas where communication should be 'pure, true and sincere.'

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