Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Relations

First Advisor's Name

Ronald Cox

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jin Zeng

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Clement Fatovic

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Gail hollander

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


MPAA, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Neoliberalism, Transnational Corporation, Trade Association

Date of Defense



Monopolies and industry concentration have returned in our time, as did the ramifications in the globalized political economy. One of the most impactful in our daily lives are the Mass Media Conglomerates who not only own the majority of film, television, and news we access, but increasingly control the means of accessing it, from cable to digital. While many are familiar with these corporations via their services and products, less known by the public are their political operations and close cooperation with Washington. This is due to the lack of holistic analysis of the industry and cooperation in the media oligopoly. Especially lacking is the focus on trade associations in the political process. As such, this dissertation analyzes the role of the prominent trade association for the film industry—the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA was formed in the early days of Hollywood’s film dominance, and today is one of the most prominent and notorious trade associations in promoting neoliberal development. These changes include transnationalized production and distribution, Intellectual Property Rights extensions, and invasive trade agreements to name a few. The influence and power to do so goes beyond lobbying, by instrumentalizing their industry, incorporating state bureaucracies, and developing an international structure that enhances corporate political power. The results have been an ever-growing consolidation that branches into related sectors and industries of communication and technology. With this such trade associations like the MPAA become more representative and hold more political leverage, which is increasingly used on the global arena and impacting the foreign and domestic policy of many states far beyond Hollywood.





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