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Title: War, power, and the media : NATO press and information activities in the Balkans
Author: Ronnfeldt, Carsten F.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis emerges from a general interest in how actors in the field of international affairs use the media as a means of power in politics and war. It examines the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) use of its Press and Information (PI) function in three peace support missions in the Balkans, and specifically studies how the officers in charge of this function strove to achieve the alliance's political and military ends. Departing from six illustrative cases the thesis demonstrates how PI operated to enhance NATO member countries' public support to the alliance as well as its presence and use of physical force in the Balkans. Further, it examines how NATO used PI in an effort to influence the general behaviour and specific actions of ordinary people and warring parties in the Balkans without having to resort to such force. The thesis does not evaluate whether the PI activities actually influenced people in the Balkans and elsewhere, but it provides a conceptual framework to appreciate the kinds of influence PI sought to exercise on them. Robert A. Dahl's notion of power may further the understanding of Pi's mode of operation to influence the parties' specific actions. To this end, PI holds the potential of being a non-lethal enforcement measure. Michel Foucault's notion of power adds another dimension by clarifying in a theoretical sense how PI may enhance public understanding and support and influence people's general behaviour. Used in this manner, PI may ultimately be a government technique applied as a concentration of knowledge in a discursive battlefield.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available