International media, diplomacy, and conflict resolution in contemporary IR: A case study of the conflict in Gaza (2009)

Date
2010
Authors
Nickens, Jonathan
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Abstract

The political context and situational factors involved the Gaza conflict (2009) present an unique opportunity to examine the role and impact of various political actors on conflict resolution. This study analyses international media coverage from non-Western countries for varying degrees of media independence, media centrality, and influence on diplomatic activity. The research component involves comparison and cross-referencing of content analysis for three satellite news channels (Al-Jazeera English, Press TV, and Russia Today) and existing empirical data. This includes examination of previous studies on media and conflict, as well as analysis of news accounts detailing daily changes in political behavior and decision-making. Variables used for coding of content analysis also include tone portrayal for both Israelis and Palestinians. Results indicate that international media present during the Gaza Conflict served an independent and central role during the fighting. The study also finds evidence supporting the existence of negative story frames toward Israel. The results suggest, however, that while diplomacy was a key issue addressed by the international media, several other factors contributed to the conflict's outcome. These factors include upcoming Israeli elections, effectiveness of military ground operations and individual decision-making based on partisan politics.

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Keywords
conflict resolution, Gaza conflict, international relations
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Department
Political Science and Geography