Professor Sarikakis researches the political processes and political economic dimensions of media and communications governance, nationally and globally. Her work is informed by political philosophy and investigates the ways in which empowerment and disempowerment of citizens become inherent elements in public policy addressing communication (either as technology or process) and expression (whether political, cultural or other). In her work, institutions are central spaces for the construction of ideas, legitimacy and exercise of control. Her current research explores these dimensions through the tensions of varying forms and degrees of state intervention upon individuals and communication and media industries.
She is currently working on a research monograph that explores issues of control over citizenship through commercial and political surveillance and communication and cultural policies of copyright, labour and ownership. The book Communication and Control is contracted by Palgrave Macmillan.
An earlier strand of her research has focused on the study of the development of supranational representational politics and its role in European communications policies and governance; a second strand has concentrated on the study of international policy regimes as they are shaped by and further facilitate processes of globalisation. Underlying her research is an attention to the micropolitics of citizenship, its changing notions and configurations as lived and ‘everyday’ experience, and with particular reference to the ‘organic’ exercise of citizenship and pursuit of social justice. She is developing work to explore the entanglement of macro and micro structures of media and communications policy and the regularisation of political economic regimes with their impact on civil liberties, democratisation of decision-making and radical democracy. The social categorisation factor of ‘gender’ is an important analytical tool in furthering the second strand of this work.
Professor Sarikakis is the founding co-editor of the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics with Prof Neil Blain (Univesity of Stirling, UK). MCP is a widely known journal that aims to facilitate a forum for critical and astute analysis of contemporary world affairs as these are related to media and cultural politics.
She has served as Chair of the Communication Law and Policy Section of ECREA for six years. She is also a re-elected member of the Executive Board of ECREA and a member of the international council of IAMCR. She has consulted with various international intergovernmental and other organisations and the media on media policy and rights issues.
In 2011, Prof. Sarikakis joined the University of Vienna after having spent twenty years in the UK, twelve of which as a tenured academic. Her previous academic post in the UK was at the University of Leeds between 2004-2011. At the University of Vienna she was Vice Director of the PhD Programmes of the Faculty of Social Sciences from 2011-2016.