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Professor Aeron Davis

Staff details

PositionProfessor of Political Communication
Email aeron.davis (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 7717 2966
Professor Aeron Davis

Professor Aeron Davis has studied and worked in departments of Politics, History, Sociology and Media and Communications. His research and teaching merges elements of each of these disciplines, and includes: political communications (in government, political parties, corporate and pressure group/trade union settings); economic sociology, cultural economy, financialization and financial markets; the political economy of the mass media and media sociology (with particularly reference to news); promotional culture and cultural intermediaries (public relations, marketing, advertising); political sociology, social movements and civil society (from a communications perspective).

He has conducted research at Westminster, Whitehall, the London Stock Exchange, across business and financial networks, amongst the major political parties and across the trade union movement. Along the way, Professor Davis has interviewed over 350 high-profile individuals employed in politics, business, finance, journalism, public relations, NGOs and the civil service. He has published on each of these topics in edited collections and in 18 peer-reviewed journals in media, journalism, politics and sociology and has also published four books: Public Relations Democracy (MUP, 2002), The Mediation of Power (Routledge, 2007), Political Communication and Social Theory (Routledge, 2010) and Promotional Cultures (Polity, 2013).

In addition, Professor Davis am a member of a member of the Centre for the Study of Global Media & Democracythe Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and the Media Reform Coalition. He also writes occasional pieces of journalism and produce think tanks and policy pieces.

Teaching

Professor Davis is the Convenor of the MA in Political Comunications and Co-Director of Goldsmiths Political Economy Research Centre. He teaches the following courses: The Structure of Contemporary Political Communications, Promotional Culture and Campaign Skills. 

Areas of supervision

Professor Davis has supervised students in the areas previously listed. Recent and current supervisees include:

  • Rod Driver - Think Tanks and Banking Regulation
  • Bong-Hyun Lee - Globalisation, Economic Power and Media in Korea
  • Jack Mosse - Economic Imaginaries, Perfomativity and Material Culture
  • Nick Sireau - Communications in the Make Poverty History
  • Catherine Walsh - Financialisation, the UK State and Budget Rhetoric

Research Interests

Professor Davis' research has covered several areas. One of these is public relations and the interaction of PR with news journalism. His earliest studies were of corporate and trade union public relations. He was interested in questions of how PR affected news outputs and also in comparing how different organisational sectors in society interacted with news media. This resulted in his first book, Public Relations Democracy (2002, MUP), and several articles in media and journalism journals and he has returned periodically to the topic. He has extended this work to look at the promotional professions more generally, including PR, advertising, marketing and branding. As well as teaching in these areas, he has also published a wide-ranging study - Promotional Cultures (2013, Polity).

A second ongoing area of research for Prof Davis is political communication, broadly defined. His earlier work looked at trade union and interest group campaigning. But, he has also regularly looked at politicians, political parties, civil servants and political journalists. Much of this research was published in two books, The Mediation of Power (2007, Routledge) and Political Communication and Social Theory (2010, Routledge). The second of these was based on 100 interviews with politicians, officials and journalists. Findings were also published in journals of media, journalism, and politics.

A third continuing area of interest cuts across economic sociology, cultural economy and financialization. His first research on public relations ended up looking at financial public relations and media, as well as communications more generally in the City. Later, he returned to interview fund managers and analysts operating around the London Stock Exchange. Prof Davis was particularly interested in the dot.com boom and bust (2000) with obvious implications for what happened in 2007-08 financial crash. Prof Davis has been interviewing former civil servants and ministers in the Treasury and former DTI about economic policy and the relationship between the state and financial sector and has also been interviewing large company CEOs about their communication, social relations and decision-making. Findings have been published in each of the above books as well as in journals of media, politics and sociology. Since 2014, Prof Davis has been Co-Director of the Goldsmiths Political Economy Research Centre (PERC), a centre which seeks to explore alternative approaches to mainstream neoclassical economics.

In most of this research, there have been several linking strands. Much of it has involved interviewing elite figures and investigating the social worlds and networks of those at the top of society. In various ways, Prof Davis wishes to explore the communications, behaviours, cognitions, cultures, discourses and organisational elements of elites and centres of power, and the implications for wider society. His interview findings are combined with larger political and economic data as well as other material (content analysis, participant observation, limited surveys). He also draws on a range of social theorists to interpret my findings. At different points he has engaged with, amongst others, Marx, Weber, Habermas, Foucault, Callon, Bourdieu, Hall, Baudrillard and Sennett.

Currently, he is co-editing (with Karel Williams of CRESC) a special journal edition for Theory, Culture and Society on elites and power in our time, writing up articles on financialization, financial markets and top CEOs, and developing Goldsmiths PERC with Will Davies. He is also developing new book projects on the social origins of financialization and the everyday lives of contemporary elites.

Publications

Book

Promotional Cultures: The Rise and Spread of Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and Branding
Davis, Aeron. 2013. Promotional Cultures: The Rise and Spread of Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and Branding. Cambridge: Polity. ISBN 978-0-7456-3983-3

Political Communication and Social Theory
Davis, Aeron. 2010. Political Communication and Social Theory. London: routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-54713-0

The Mediation of Power: A Criticial Introduction
Davis, Aeron. 2007. The Mediation of Power: A Criticial Introduction. Routledge. ISBN 0415404916

Public Relations Democracy: Public Relations, Politics and the Mass Media in Britain
Davis, Aeron. 2002. Public Relations Democracy: Public Relations, Politics and the Mass Media in Britain. Manchester University Press. ISBN 0719060680

Book Section

Financial Insider Talk in the City of London
Davis, Aeron. 2015. Financial Insider Talk in the City of London. In: Graham Murdock and Jostein Gripsrud, eds. Money Talks: Media, Markets, Crisis. Intellect, pp. 29-44. ISBN 978-1783204052

The Impact of Market Forces, New Technologies and Political PR on UK Journalism
Davis, Aeron. 2013. The Impact of Market Forces, New Technologies and Political PR on UK Journalism. In: Raymond Kuhn and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, eds. Political Journalism in Transition: Western Europe in a Comparative Perspective. London: I.B.Tauris, pp. 111-130. ISBN 978-1780766782

Mediation, Financialization and the Global Financial Crisis: An Inverted Political Economy Perspective
Davis, Aeron. 2012. Mediation, Financialization and the Global Financial Crisis: An Inverted Political Economy Perspective. In: John Banks; Dal Yong Jin and Dwayne Winseck, eds. The Political Economies of Media: The Transformation of the Global Media Industries. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1849668934

Promotion, Propaganda and High Finance
Davis, Aeron. 2011. Promotion, Propaganda and High Finance. In: Gerald Sussman, ed. The Propaganda Society: Promotional Culture and Politics in Global Context. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 251-266. ISBN 978-1433109966

Media and Politics: An Overview
Davis, Aeron. 2010. Media and Politics: An Overview. In: James P. Curran, ed. Mass Media and Society, Fifth Edition. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 83-102. ISBN 978-0340984451

Politics, Journalism and New Media: Virtual Iron Cages and the New Culture of Capitalism
Davis, Aeron. 2009. Politics, Journalism and New Media: Virtual Iron Cages and the New Culture of Capitalism. In: Natalie Fenton, ed. New Media, Old News: Journalism And Democracy In The Digital Age. SAGE, pp. 121-137. ISBN 978-1847875747

Public Relations in the news
Davis, Aeron. 2008. Public Relations in the news. In: Bob Franklin, ed. Pulling Newspapers Apart: Analysing Print Journalism. Routledge, pp. 254-264. ISBN 978-0415425568

Investigating Cultural Producers
Davis, Aeron. 2008. Investigating Cultural Producers. In: Michael Pickering, ed. Research Methods for Cultural Studies. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 53-67. ISBN 978-0748625789

Spinning Money
Davis, Aeron. 2007. Spinning Money. In: David Miller and William Dinan, eds. Thinker, Faker, Spinner, Spy: Corporate PR and the Assault on Democracy. Pluto Press, pp. 212-225. ISBN 978-0745324449

Placing Promotional Culture
Davis, Aeron. 2005. Placing Promotional Culture. In: James P. Curran and David G. Morley, eds. Media and Cultural Theory. Routledge, pp. 149-163. ISBN 978-0415317054

Public Relations and News Sources
Davis, Aeron. 2003. Public Relations and News Sources. In: Simon Cottle, ed. News, Public Relations and Power. SAGE, pp. 27-42. ISBN 978-0761974963

Public Relations Campaigning and News Production: The Case of New Unionism in Britain
Davis, Aeron. 1999. Public Relations Campaigning and News Production: The Case of New Unionism in Britain. In: James P. Curran, ed. Media Organisations in Society. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 173-192. ISBN 978-0340720158

Media Organisations in Society: Central Issues
Davis, Aeron. 1999. Media Organisations in Society: Central Issues. In: James P. Curran, ed. Media Organisations in Society. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 19-65. ISBN 978-0340720158

Article

Sustaining Corporate Class Consciousness Across the New Liquid Managerial Elite in Britain
Davis, Aeron. 2016. Sustaining Corporate Class Consciousness Across the New Liquid Managerial Elite in Britain. British Journal of Sociology,

The New Professional Econocracy and the Maintenance of Elite Power
Davis, Aeron. 2016. The New Professional Econocracy and the Maintenance of Elite Power. Political Studies, ISSN 0032-3217

Introduction: Elites and Power After Financialization
Davis, Aeron and Williams, Karel. 2016. Introduction: Elites and Power After Financialization. Theory, Culture and Society, ISSN 0263-2764

The Role of the State in the Financialisation of the UK Economy
Davis, Aeron and Walsh, Catherine. 2015. The Role of the State in the Financialisation of the UK Economy. Political Studies,

Embedding and Disembedding of Political Elites: A Filter System Model
Davis, Aeron. 2015. Embedding and Disembedding of Political Elites: A Filter System Model. Sociological Review, 63(1), pp. 144-161. ISSN 0038-0261

Response to Stefan Schwarzkopf’s Review Article on Promotional Cultures
Davis, Aeron. 2014. Response to Stefan Schwarzkopf’s Review Article on Promotional Cultures. Journal of Cultural Economy, pp. 1-5. ISSN 1753-0350

La Production Des Formes De Capital Médiatique Interne Et Externe: L'étrange Cas De David Cameron Au Sein Du Champ Politique Britannique
Davis, Aeron and Seymour, Emily. 2014. La Production Des Formes De Capital Médiatique Interne Et Externe: L'étrange Cas De David Cameron Au Sein Du Champ Politique Britannique. Réseaux, 187, pp. 107-133.

Applying a Weberian Perspective to the Analysis of UK Journalism: Hacking and Leveson as Products of Organisational Rationalisation
Davis, Aeron. 2013. Applying a Weberian Perspective to the Analysis of UK Journalism: Hacking and Leveson as Products of Organisational Rationalisation. Max Weber Studies, 13(2), ISSN 1470-8078

Forms of capital and mobility in the political field: Applying Bourdieu’s conceptual framework to UK party politics
Davis, Aeron. 2010. Forms of capital and mobility in the political field: Applying Bourdieu’s conceptual framework to UK party politics. British Politics, 5, pp. 202-223. ISSN 1746-918X

New Media and Fat Democracy: The Paradox of Online Participation
Davis, Aeron. 2010. New Media and Fat Democracy: The Paradox of Online Participation. New Media & Society, 12(5), pp. 745-761. ISSN 1461-4448

Generating forms of media capital inside and outside a field: the strange case of David Cameron in the UK political field
Davis, Aeron and Seymour, Emily. 2010. Generating forms of media capital inside and outside a field: the strange case of David Cameron in the UK political field. Media, Culture & Society, 32(5), pp. 739-759. ISSN 0163-4437

Journalist-Source Relations, Mediated Reflexivity and the Politics of Politics
Davis, Aeron. 2009. Journalist-Source Relations, Mediated Reflexivity and the Politics of Politics. Journalism Studies, 10(2), pp. 204-219. ISSN 1461-670X

Evaluating Communication in the British Parliamentary Public Sphere
Davis, Aeron. 2009. Evaluating Communication in the British Parliamentary Public Sphere. The British Journal Of Politics And International Relations, 11(2), pp. 280-297. ISSN 1369-1481

The Economic Inefficiencies of Market Liberalization
Davis, Aeron. 2007. The Economic Inefficiencies of Market Liberalization. Global Media and Communication, 3(2), pp. 157-178.

Investigating Journalist Influences on Political Issue Agendas at Westminster
Davis, Aeron. 2007. Investigating Journalist Influences on Political Issue Agendas at Westminster. Political Communication, 24, pp. 181-199.

The Limits of Metrological Performativity: Valuing Equities in the London Stock Exchange
Davis, Aeron. 2006. The Limits of Metrological Performativity: Valuing Equities in the London Stock Exchange. Competition and Change, 10(1), pp. 3-21. ISSN 10245294

Media Effects and the Question of the Rational Audience: Lessons from the Financial Markets
Davis, Aeron. 2006. Media Effects and the Question of the Rational Audience: Lessons from the Financial Markets. Media, Culture and Society, 28(4), pp. 603-625. ISSN 0163-4437

The Role of the Mass Media in Investor Relations
Davis, Aeron. 2006. The Role of the Mass Media in Investor Relations. Journal of Communications Management, 10(1), pp. 7-17. ISSN 1363-254X

Media Effects and the Active Elite Audience: A Study of Communications in the London Stock Exchange
Davis, Aeron. 2005. Media Effects and the Active Elite Audience: A Study of Communications in the London Stock Exchange. European Journal of Communication, 20(3), pp. 303-326. ISSN 02673231

Whither Mass Media and Power? Evidence for a Critical Elite Theory Alternative
Davis, Aeron. 2003. Whither Mass Media and Power? Evidence for a Critical Elite Theory Alternative. Media, Culture and Society, 25(5), pp. 669-690. ISSN 0163-4437

Public Relations, Business News and the Reproduction of Corporate Elite Power
Davis, Aeron. 2000. Public Relations, Business News and the Reproduction of Corporate Elite Power. Journalism, 1(3), pp. 282-304.

Public Relations, News Production and Changing Patterns of Source Access in the British National Media
Davis, Aeron. 2000. Public Relations, News Production and Changing Patterns of Source Access in the British National Media. Media, Culture and Society, 22(1), pp. 39-59. ISSN 0163-4437

Conference or Workshop Item

When Online Political Networks meet Off-Line Actually Existing Democracies
Davis, Aeron. 2014. 'When Online Political Networks meet Off-Line Actually Existing Democracies'. In: Auckland University of Technology. Auckland, New Zealand.

Elite Economics: Imaginaries, Discursive Practices and Mundane Technicalities
Davis, Aeron. 2014. 'Elite Economics: Imaginaries, Discursive Practices and Mundane Technicalities'. In: CRESC Annual Conference. Manchester University, United Kingdom.

Intra-State New Institutionalism and the Financialization of the UK Economy
Davis, Aeron and Walsh, Catherine. 2014. 'Intra-State New Institutionalism and the Financialization of the UK Economy'. In: Elites in Our Time Conference. Goldsmiths/CRESC at Goldsmiths, United Kingdom.

Conflicts and Continuities: When Online Political Networks meet Off-Line Actually Existing Democracies
Davis, Aeron. 2013. 'Conflicts and Continuities: When Online Political Networks meet Off-Line Actually Existing Democracies'. In: Political Online Communications in Comparative Perspective. Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany.

Industrial and Institutional Change in Brand Environments
Davis, Aeron. 2013. 'Industrial and Institutional Change in Brand Environments'. In: ICA Conference. LSE, London, United Kingdom.

Hacking and Leveson as the Outcomes of Modern Rationalised Journalism
Davis, Aeron. 2013. 'Hacking and Leveson as the Outcomes of Modern Rationalised Journalism'. In: Weber and the Press Workshop. Manchester University, United Kingdom.

Media as a Communicative Space for the Cooptation of Non-Financial Stakeholder Elites into Financialization
Davis, Aeron. 2013. 'Media as a Communicative Space for the Cooptation of Non-Financial Stakeholder Elites into Financialization'. In: Economics in the Public Sphere Workshop. Cambridge University, United Kingdom.

‘The Sociology of Elites’ and ‘Forms of Media Capital and Mobility in Political Fields: A UK Case Example’
Davis, Aeron. 2013. '‘The Sociology of Elites’ and ‘Forms of Media Capital and Mobility in Political Fields: A UK Case Example’'. In: the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Scienes Sociales. Paris, France.

The Rise of Speculative Value in the Era of Financialization and Ponzi-Scheme Capitalism
Davis, Aeron. 2012. 'The Rise of Speculative Value in the Era of Financialization and Ponzi-Scheme Capitalism'. In: CRESC Annual Conference. Manchester, United Kingdom.

The Cultural and Communicative Disembedding of Political and Financial Elites
Davis, Aeron. 2012. 'The Cultural and Communicative Disembedding of Political and Financial Elites'. In: University of Helsinki. Helsinki, Finland.

Two invited papers on the subjects of news, public relations and finance
Davis, Aeron. 2012. 'Two invited papers on the subjects of news, public relations and finance'. In: University of Geneva. Geneva, Switzerland.

How the Financial Media Failed the Public and Boosted Ponzi-Scheme Finance
Davis, Aeron. 2011. 'How the Financial Media Failed the Public and Boosted Ponzi-Scheme Finance'. In: British Academy Symposium: Soothsayers of Doom. City University, London, United Kingdom.

The Cultural and Communicative Disembedding of UK Political Elites
Davis, Aeron. 2011. 'The Cultural and Communicative Disembedding of UK Political Elites'. In: Royal Holloway, University of London. London, United Kingdom.

Media Management, Mediatisation and Mediation in Politics
Davis, Aeron. 2011. 'Media Management, Mediatisation and Mediation in Politics'. In: Oxford University. Oxford, United Kingdom.

A series of invited papers on the subjects of media, politics and finance
Davis, Aeron. 2011. 'A series of invited papers on the subjects of media, politics and finance'. In: University of Toulouse. Toulouse, France.

Professionalization as a causal factor in financial meltdown: knowledge bases, rewards and (dis)incentives in financial and political networks
Davis, Aeron. 2010. 'Professionalization as a causal factor in financial meltdown: knowledge bases, rewards and (dis)incentives in financial and political networks'. In: CRESC Anthropology and Finance. IFS School of Finance, London, United Kingdom.

Professionalization in Political Parties, the New Wave of Party Leaders, and the Implications for Electoral Representation in the UK
Davis, Aeron. 2010. 'Professionalization in Political Parties, the New Wave of Party Leaders, and the Implications for Electoral Representation in the UK'. In: University of Auckland. Auckland, New Zealand.

Foreign Policy-Making, Communication and the Embedding/ Disembedding of International Policy Networks: The Case of Iraq 2003
Davis, Aeron. 2010. 'Foreign Policy-Making, Communication and the Embedding/ Disembedding of International Policy Networks: The Case of Iraq 2003'. In: Victoria University. Wellington, New Zealand.

Political Journalists as an Interpretive Community
Davis, Aeron. 2009. 'Political Journalists as an Interpretive Community'. In: Media in Power Workshop. University of Tampere, Finland.

Media Capital and Mobility in the Political Field
Davis, Aeron. 2008. 'Media Capital and Mobility in the Political Field'. In: ICS. Leeds University, United Kingdom.

Politicians, Forms of Media Capital, and Mobility in the Political Field: Applying Bourdieu’s Conceptual Framework to Politics at Westminster
Davis, Aeron. 2008. 'Politicians, Forms of Media Capital, and Mobility in the Political Field: Applying Bourdieu’s Conceptual Framework to Politics at Westminster'. In: University of Westminster. London, United Kingdom.

Embedding and Disembedding of Information Networks at the Political Centre
Davis, Aeron. 2008. 'Embedding and Disembedding of Information Networks at the Political Centre'. In: ICA Conference. Montreal, Canada.

Financial Markets and Rational Herds
Davis, Aeron. 2006. 'Financial Markets and Rational Herds'. In: ‘New Actors and Financial Networks’, ESEMK Workshop. London, United Kingdom.

The Commodification of Information in Established Financial Markets
Davis, Aeron. 2006. 'The Commodification of Information in Established Financial Markets'. In: Manchester University. Manchester, United Kingdom.

Media Effects and the Question of the Rational Audience
Davis, Aeron. 2004. 'Media Effects and the Question of the Rational Audience'. In: LSA. London, United Kingdom.

Spinning Money: Corporate PR and the London Stock Exchange
Davis, Aeron. 2004. 'Spinning Money: Corporate PR and the London Stock Exchange'. In: Spin and Corporate Power conference. Glasgow, United Kingdom.

The Impact of Financial Public Relations on the British Economy
Davis, Aeron. 2002. 'The Impact of Financial Public Relations on the British Economy'. In: University of Westminster. London, United Kingdom.

The Rise and Impact of Corporate Public Relations
Davis, Aeron. 2000. 'The Rise and Impact of Corporate Public Relations'. In: Political Studies Association conference, LSE. London, United Kingdom.

Thesis

Public relations, political communications and national news production in Britain 1979-1999
Davis, Aeron. 2000. Public relations, political communications and national news production in Britain 1979-1999. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London

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