THE CONFLICT OVER THE MOVEMENT TOWARD A NEW WORLD INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION ORDER (USSR)
This study analyzes the major events in the "movement" toward a New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) from 1973 through 1980 to understand the nature of the conflict over it. The NWICO movement, promoted by the Non-Aligned Third World countries and supported by the Soviet bloc states, was resisted by the Western bloc as it challenged Western hegemony in the world information and communication system and thus created conflicts. The major sources of conflict were: the opposing ideological principles of "free flow" versus "free and balanced flow" of information: the efforts of the movement's proponents to formulate a new paradigm for the world information and communication system as well as an alternative-parallel system, and to change the specific material conditions such as the redistribution of the radio spectrum; the use of UNESCO for the promotion of the movement; the process of institutionalization and legitimation of the movement; and the Non-Aligned bloc's activities in developing the movement as an international entity. It was the conflict between the contending parties that propelled and shaped the movement, which developed through a process of conflicts. The conflict was multi-dimensional; the major conflict was between the proponents and the opponents of the movement while there were also planes of conflict among the proponents and among the opponents. The basic character of the movement was thus conflictual. Both of the superpower blocs stand to lose some of their privileges in the event of a new order. Therefore Soviet bloc support for the movement may not be consistent. The NWICO movement was an elitist one. The events in the movement constituted its stages of development. The efforts by the movement's proponents, in Gramscian terms, were the moves in the war of position against hegemony. The proponents were successful in gaining concessions from the hegemonic bloc and achieving the institutionalization and legitimation of the NWICO movement. The movement helped to formulate a new definition of social reality in the world information and communication system, as opposed to that of hegemony. The NWICO movement appears to be the antithesis to the existing order.