2023-2024 / SPOL9208-1

Policy issues around digital communication and artificial intelligence


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (CATANE (OUT))5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (CATANE (IN)), 1st year5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of Law, Political Science and Criminology)5 crédits 


Michel Hermans

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Contents covered : 1. The ages of electronic and digital communication, mainly in Europe in the face of international competition.
- The causes of the development of the public service monopoly: the 1st age - The causes of the arrival of the private sector: the 2nd age - The liberalization and development of the Internet: the 3rd age - Artificial Intelligence, the 4th age. 
2. Technological developments :
a. Europe's place in technological evolution b. The development of telecommunications, audio-visual and information technology. c. Digital: convergence between audiovisual, computer and telecommunications technologies and the economic and military battle of 5G. d. The conflict between the EU USA, Japan and China
3. The strategic industries of the communication society
a. Equipment (US, Korea, Japan and China conflict) b. Programs and services (American domination and attempted Chinese conquest) c. Audiovisual and communication groups (EU, USA and China) d. Private actors versus the public sector in Europe: the weak European dimension in the face of national resistance e. Internet: from web 1.0 to web 2.0 f. The return of television: web 3.0, new thematic televisions, digital bouquets and video on demand: convergence or divergence with the Internet (American domination). g. American and Chinese domination in the AI sector in the face of European weakness: the problem of an own political culture.
h. The risk of labor market destabilization and major political crises 

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The changes are increasingly rapid in the communication between human beings, via the media, to which is added the direct communication of men and women with the "machine". Human relations in our societies are being strongly transformed. On the political level, the new media are upsetting the relationship between politicians and citizens, while artificial intelligence risks totally transforming regional, national and European employment policies. Moreover, the lack of intelligent use of new media by politicians is one of the causes of slippage in our democracies, but also in more authoritarian regimes. Finally, the technological domination of the United States and China in the evolution of digital technology runs the risk of once again placing Europe behind, as a mere user of these new digital technologies, without constructive intervention on policies in this sector, on the part of European States as well as the European Union.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Presentation of the hypostheses and the achievements of the theory
Critical analysis and debate using graphs and maps

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Presential, if possible or mixed

Recommended or required readings

Course Notes.
BalleFrancis : "Médias et Sociétés", Domat Politique, LGDJ, Paris, 2019- 18ème édition, 876 pages.
Bonnell René : « La vingt-cinquième image. Une économie de l'audiovisuel », 4ème éditions, Editions Gallimard, Paris, 2006, 864 pages.
Breton Philippe : « La parole manipulée », Collection Essais, Editions La Découverte / Poche, Paris, 2004, 220 pages.
Breton Philippe : « L'utopie de la communication », Collection Essais, Editions La Découverte / Poche, Paris, 2004, 171 pages.
Castells Manuel : « La Galaxie Internet », Editions Fayard, Paris, 2002, 368 pages.
Chomsky Noam et Herman Edward S. : « La fabrique de l'opinion publique. La politique économique des médias américains », Editions Le serpent à plumes, Paris, 2003, 330 pages.
Dufour Arnaud et Ghernaouti-Hélie Solange : « Internet », Collection Que Sais-je ?, 11ème édition, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2012, 128 pages.
Lefébure Antoine: "L'affaire Snowden, comment les Etats-Unis espionnent le Monde", Edition La Découverte, Paris, 2014, 275 pages.
Mattelart Armand : « Histoire de l'utopie planétaire », Editions La Découverte, Paris, 2009, 430 pages.
Mattelart Armand : « La mondialisation de la communication », Collection Que Sais-je ?, 4ème édition, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2005, 126 pages. 
Mounier Pierre : « Les maîtres du réseau. Les enjeux politiques d'Internet », Editions La Découverte, Paris, 2002.
Sfez Lucien : « Dictionnaire critique de la Communication », Tome 1: Données de base - Théories opérationnelles, Tome II: Domaines d'application - Communication et société », Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1993, 1780 pages.
Wolton Dominique : « Internet et après ? Une théorie critique des nouveaux médias », Champs-Essais, Editions Flammarion, Paris 2010, 240 pages.
Wolton Dominique : « Penser la communication », Champs-Essais, Flammarion, Paris, 2008, 401 pages.

Oral exam: two questions on the subject and a presentation of a case by the student, with a critical analysis (half an hour exam).

Work placement(s)


Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Attendance at the course is important and student participation through questions, comments or criticism is necessary.


Full Professor: Michel Hermans, Visiting Professor
Email: michel.hermans@uliege.be
Smartphone: 0477/22.53.62

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Policy issues of digital communication and artificial intelligence
To determine the political stakes of the Digital Communication and ArtificialIntelligence sector in Europe, incompetition with the two major world players in this field: the United States and China.