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Title: Framing the neocons : European media representations of US foreign policy making
Authors: Tzogopoulos, George
Keywords: Neoconservatism
US foreign policy
War on Iraq
European media
European public sphere
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: © George Tzogopoulos
Abstract: There is a lively academic debate concerning US foreign policy in the post-Cold War era and especially after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Neoconservatism has become a cause celebre in the literature of international relations with a variety of scholars disagreeing as to its supposed impact on Washington's world affairs approach and the Bush administration's decision to remove Saddam Hussein, from power manu militari. This thesis is an analysis of the way this political ideology was interpreted in the European elite media. It will be demonstrated how a significant section of key opinion-forming newspapers of Britain, France, Germany and Italy framed neoconservatism during the administration of Bill Clinton and partly that of George W. Bush. There will be an exploration of whether and how newspapers vary in their coverage. The thesis will outline that the influence of the neoconservatives in US foreign policy can be disputed and will suggest that their ideas can be hardly considered as revolutionary ones. It will then focus on the media coverage and will show that the prominence devoted to neoconservatism by the accessed print sources is a relatively recent phenomenon. The findings indicate that the newspapers differed in their representation of the political ideology only in the period before 9/11 when they mainly discussed it in the context of domestic affairs. By contrast, after the terrorist atrocities and especially since 2003 they linked neoconservatism to US foreign policy and largely focused on it - as opposed to competing international relations theories -, representing it in a remarkably similar way. With the exception of The Times, which followed a comparatively balanced approach, they constructed it as a driving force behind George W. Bush's international politics approach and the war on Iraq. The media emphasis on neoconservatism will be attributed to different factors - such the scapegoat theory - which maybe influenced the journalistic work. The general consensus as to their understanding of neoconservatism and its supposed impact will not support the claim of a European public sphere but will be considered as a positive step towards its possible creation.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/12167
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Social Sciences)

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