’s new book, The Only Constant is Change: Technology, Political Communication, and Innovation over Time
(Oxford University Press, 2018), traces communication changes and innovations in the United States from the time of the Founding to the present, while also exploring how and where innovative use of communication becomes viable for political actors. Epstein connects a number of threads within the book, including a qualitative approach to communications studies that makes use of the American Political Development, or APD, framework as the structure to explore the disruptions in technology that allow for new forms of political communication operations to come forward and for political actors to choose to make use of these innovative forms for communication. Making central claims about how technological and political forces disrupt political communication activity and how these disruptions lead to new political communication orders, Epstein also examines who makes the most use of new information and communication technology, and how and where a new political communication order becomes embedded within our daily lives.
This is a clearly structured book—detailing the periods of technological revolution and then the responses to those revolutionary periods as the new form of technology becomes normalized within society and also within the political communication arena. There are also some important comparative case studies to help readers understand who may make the most out of new communication approaches, and whether these approaches may, or may not, make that much of a difference.
This podcast was hosted by Lilly Goren, Professor of Political Science and Global Studies at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. You can follow her on Twitter @gorenlj.