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Spin as a Symptom of the Crisis of Liberal Democracy

Next up at CMPM2014 is Mark Triffitt, again via Skype, whose focus is on political spin. He suggests that the battle of spin versus substance has become increasingly complicated, and that the basic system of liberal democracy simplify can no longer function in the present environment as it was meant to do. Over the last twenty years the combination of globalisation and changing communication technologies mean that the functionality of political systems has been eroded, leading to other means being used for political contestation.

Why is it increasingly difficult for organisations to actually assert control over the world, then? The liberal democratic process and its actors increasingly resort to different means of managing the world, such as spin, to address this crisis; spin is a way to compensate for a lack of control and to give people the sense that things are happening. This also relates to the crisis of the conventional party system, which is no longer suited to a more complex socioeconomic structure.

This is ironic because the liberal democratic system was supposed to have won after the fall of communism – but ever since that moment it, too, has struggled considerably. The same criticism, incidentally, may be made of the free market system, which has also begun to struggle considerably.