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Using the United States and Great Britain as a comparative case study, this article employs a historical framework to consider the broad array of social, cultural, political, and economic contexts that led to divergent outcomes in the early development of broadcasting policy. This comparative historical analysis reveals the causal chains formed before the 1920s despite a period of post-war contingency. As a policy option, government control was removed in the United States but stayed in place in Britain after the war. This comparative approach can help to explain policy outcomes and inform modern policy debates.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an Article published in Journal of Radio & Audio Media, April 29, 2014, available online at doi: 10.1080/19376529.2014.891210

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