Stealth Conflicts: How the World's Worst Violence Is Ignored

Routledge
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Many of the world's deadliest conflicts are largely ignored - becoming off-the-radar 'stealth conflicts'. How can this be possible in a world with unprecedented levels of access to information, and unprecedented levels of attention and resources being devoted to foreign affairs? Virgil Hawkins reveals and explains the highly distorted and assimilated responses to foreign conflicts by major actors in the world. He examines the agenda-setting processes of policy makers, the media, the public and academics in relation to foreign conflicts. Using a vast array of detailed examples, he systematically unravels the internal dynamics and external influences experienced by these actors, and in so doing he brings the academic agenda into the loop of the conflict response agenda-setting process for the first time. With agenda-setting research tending to focus on the question of why a response to a particular event or issue occurred, this book furthers research by focusing equally on why a response did not occur. The volume is critically important in understanding why actors do and do not respond to foreign conflicts.
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About the author

Virgil Hawkins is Assistant Professor at the Global Collaboration Center (GLOCOL), Osaka University, Japan.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Dec 5, 2016
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9781351897945
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book analyses the use of communication in resolving conflicts, with a focus on de-escalation and processes of peacebuilding and peace formation.

From the employment of hate radio in the Rwanda genocide, to the current conflict between Russia and the Ukraine following events in the Crimea, communication and the media are widely recognized as powerful tools in conflicts and war. Although there has been significant academic attention on the relationship between the media, conflict and war, academic efforts to understand this relationship have tended to focus primarily on the links between communication and conflict, rather than on communication and peace.

In order to make sense of peace it is essential to look at communication in its many facets, mediated or not. This is true within many of the diverse strands that make up the field of communication and peace, but it is also true in the sense that a holistic and interdisciplinary approach is missing from the literature. This book addresses this widely acknowledged lacuna by providing an interdisciplinary perspective on the field, bringing together relevant, but so far largely isolated, streams of research. In doing so, it aims to provide a platform for further reflection of the meaning of, and requirements for, peace in our contemporary world with a focus on de-escalation, conflict transformation, reconciliation and processes of peacebuilding – as opposed to conflict escalation or crisis intervention.

This volume will be of much interest to students of peace and conflict studies, peacebuilding, media and communication studies, security studies and IR in general.

A sobering look at the intimate relationship between political power and the news media, When the Press Fails argues the dependence of reporters on official sources disastrously thwarts coverage of dissenting voices from outside the Beltway. The result is both an indictment of official spin and an urgent call to action that questions why the mainstream press failed to challenge the Bush administration’s arguments for an invasion of Iraq or to illuminate administration policies underlying the Abu Ghraib controversy. Drawing on revealing interviews with Washington insiders and analysis of content from major news outlets, the authors illustrate the media’s unilateral surrender to White House spin whenever oppositional voices elsewhere in government fall silent. Contrasting these grave failures with the refreshingly critical reporting on Hurricane Katrina—a rare event that caught officials off guard, enabling journalists to enter a no-spin zone—When the Press Fails concludes by proposing new practices to reduce reporters’ dependence on power.

“The hand-in-glove relationship of the U.S. media with the White House is mercilessly exposed in this determined and disheartening study that repeatedly reveals how the press has toed the official line at those moments when its independence was most needed.”—George Pendle, Financial Times

“Bennett, Lawrence, and Livingston are indisputably right about the news media’s dereliction in covering the administration’s campaign to take the nation to war against Iraq.”—Don Wycliff, Chicago Tribune “[This] analysis of the weaknesses of Washington journalism deserves close attention.”—Russell Baker, New York Review of Books
"Play fool, to catch wise."--proverb of Jamaican slaves Confrontations between the powerless and powerful are laden with deception--the powerless feign deference and the powerful subtly assert their mastery. Peasants, serfs, untouchables, slaves, laborers, and prisoners are not free to speak their minds in the presence of power. These subordinate groups instead create a secret discourse that represents a critique of power spoken behind the backs of the dominant. At the same time, the powerful also develop a private dialogue about practices and goals of their rule that cannot be openly avowed. In this book, renowned social scientist James C. Scott offers a penetrating discussion both of the public roles played by the powerful and powerless and the mocking, vengeful tone they display off stage--what he terms their public and hidden transcripts. Using examples from the literature, history, and politics of cultures around the world, Scott examines the many guises this interaction has taken throughout history and the tensions and contradictions it reflects. Scott describes the ideological resistance of subordinate groups--their gossip, folktales, songs, jokes, and theater--their use of anonymity and ambiguity. He also analyzes how ruling elites attempt to convey an impression of hegemony through such devices as parades, state ceremony, and rituals of subordination and apology. Finally, he identifies--with quotations that range from the recollections of American slaves to those of Russian citizens during the beginnings of Gorbachev's glasnost campaign--the political electricity generated among oppressed groups when, for the first time, the hidden transcript is spoken directly and publicly in the face of power. His landmark work will revise our understanding of subordination, resistance, hegemony, folk culture, and the ideas behind revolt.
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