Dr. Laura L. Stein   
Fulbright-Nehru Project Title: "Social Movement Communication in India"
Field of Study: Study of India
Home Institution in US: University of Texas, Austin, TX
Host Institution in India: Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi  
Start date/Month in India: June 2013
Duration of grant: Nine months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Laura Stein is an associate professor in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas (UT), Austin. She writes about alternative media, political communication, and communication law and policy. Her books include two co-edited volumes, Making Our Media: Global Initiatives Toward a Democratic Public Sphere (Hampton Press, 2009) and Speech Rights in America: The First Amendment, Democracy and the Media (University of Illinois Press, 2007). She has a PhD from UT Austin, a MA from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

As many nations face calls for more participation in governance and ICTs reorder the possibilities for political communication, whether and how social movement organizations (SMOs) influence public discourse, policy and political decision making through information, communication and technology use are vital questions. Dr. Stein's Fulbright project examines how Indian SMOs engage in communication activism, and how such activism interacts with broader contextual factors. Through qualitative case studies of SMOs targeting issues of governance, human rights and the environment, she will examine the dynamics of activist communication in India’s democracy, its relationships to ICTs, and its implications for communication policy.