What are the challenges to effective academic participation in telecommunications policymaking? In this article, the authors analyze their experiences with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and Industry Canada as examples. Their goal is to increase academic policy engagement despite negligible government support for public interest advocacy, as traditional public interest values are discarded by regulators because new technologies are framed as individual rather than collective. Industry Canada is deemed opaque with an “advocacy deficit,” though the CRTC is more transparent and inviting. To succeed in both venues, academics need to work with advocacy organizations as “circumstantial activists.” Such academic participation can offer new conceptual frameworks, add nuance to discourse, substantiate the use of scholarly research in policy debates, and add to policy theory building.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University
Professor and Canada Research Chair, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, Ryerson University.