Media, dissent, and anti-war movements

Authored by: Andrew Rojecki

Routledge Handbook of Media, Conflict and Security

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415712910
eBook ISBN: 9781315850979
Adobe ISBN: 9781317914303


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Much of our understanding of anti-war movements and their mediated influence on public opinion relies on scholarship developed at a time when the nature of war, the means of information transmission, and the world picture differed radically from the present. The research produced during the Cold War shaped the military and information strategies of elites as well as protest movements, an example of what Giddens (1987) calls the ‘double hermeneutic,’ the influence of scholarly discourse on practice. In light of this research, movements became ‘reflexively conditioned by their pursuit of media attention... to get their message across and mobilize wide support’ (Cottle 2008). Similarly, elite formulation of military strategy was influenced by the Vietnam Syndrome debate. Historical change, however, needs to be taken into account before we fall back on explanations which are perhaps no longer relevant to the current era politics of protest and dissent.

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