Cinema, news media and perception management of the Gaza
This chapter examines media coverage of the Gaza conflicts and considers what
occurs when humanitarian images of Palestinian casualties take centre stage.
The chapter argues that a media outcome that appears to be favourable to the
Palestinians, in that it focuses on their suffering, can actually have the
opposite effect. Addressing UK, US and Israeli news media, as well as
popular television and the documentary films Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman,
2008) and Where Should the Birds Fly (Fida Qishta, 2013), the chapter
addresses the ways ‘perception management’ can serve to divorce the public
from realities of state violence through a kind of cinematic derealisation
that enables states to reduce perceptions of blame for their atrocities and
act with impunity.
This chapter focuses on the United States Peace Corp and explores the nature
and effects of the Peace Corps’ publicity, media and popular culture
portrayals during the 1960s. It shows how the Peace Corps rendered
international development into a topic for mainstream discussion and public
engagement, and traces some of the political outcomes of this publicity. By
focusing on volunteers’ altruistic intentions Peace Corps publicity
portrayed international development as a humanitarian project. Presenting US
intervention as a positive expression of American altruism, the Peace Corps
helped popularise the view that America had a responsibility to modernise
the ‘underdeveloped’ nations of the world. This chapter argues that, by
privileging American viewpoints and eliding competing visions, Peace Corps
publicity helped normalise the logic of intervention.
Juvenile actors and humanitarian sentiment in the 1940s
This chapter examines specific ideological and aesthetic dimensions of the
representation of children in American films produced during and directly
after the Second World War in relation to the promotion and operations of
the United Nations. It analyses how vulnerable children from the world’s war
zones appeared and functioned in four Hollywood studio pictures. These films
presented groups of children to harness humanitarian sentiment in support of
the ideology and activities of the UN. While the figure of the child
acquired new cultural and political significance in the era of the United
Nations’ wartime and post-war endeavours in humanitarianism, the
presentation and performances of Hollywood’s juvenile actors simultaneously
became subject to new modes of moral apprehension and aesthetic
Television and the politics of British humanitarianism
This chapter focuses on how television coverage of major disasters in the
global South shaped the historical and political trajectory of humanitarian
aid in Britain, through a case study of British television coverage of the
deadly famine in Ethiopia in 1973. ITV’s The Unknown Famine shaped the
trajectory of British humanitarianism in three important ways: it provided
an empathic demonstration of the power of televised images of human
suffering to mobilise the public; it was an important signpost for wider
critiques of media representation and disaster fundraising imagery emerging
within the aid community; and it contributed towards significant changes in
the British government’s approach to disaster relief policy.
A dialogue with Islam as a pattern of conflict resolution and a security approach vis-à-vis Islamism
In this chapter Islamism is viewed as a variety of religious fundamentalism. The religion of Islam must be differentiated from the many varieties of Islamism as political ideology. In view of the developments in the post-bipolar Middle East, there is a clear connection between fundamentalism and security. Domestic and regional stability in the southern Mediterranean is needed, and the Islamization of politics is viewed as a security threat to peace in this region. Samuel Huntington recognizes what is termed the 'cultural turn' in seeing how cultures and civilizations play an increasingly important role in international politics. The major problem with his approach is that he believes civilizations can engage in world political conflicts. The chapter focuses on the attitudes of Islamic fundamentalists vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli peace process. It examines the impact of the working hypothesis on the negative connection between peace and Islamism in the case of the Maghreb.
This chapter examines the concept of security through discursive contestation at the leadership level in a critical Middle Eastern case, that of Israel. It examines the specific discourses of security employed by opposing political groups during key periods in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The chapter argues that failure to resolve the fundamental dispute among Palestinians and Israelis stems directly from the victory during the 1950s of the more hard-line militaristic Israeli approach towards state security and development. It discusses the shortcomings of a systemic or structural realist approach to the question of the Palestinian-Israeli peace. The chapter establishes a historical basis for the dispute between Israeli militarism and moderation with a focus on the critical period of the early to mid-1950s. It assesses the contemporary implications of the doctrines of militarism and moderation with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during the 1990s.
This chapter uses comparative analysis to elucidate how the interaction between the system level and particular state formation paths shapes similarities and differences in states' international behaviour. What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? As this chapter shows, neither state features nor systemic forces alone have an impact on foreign policy but the interrelation between a state's specific position in systemic structures and its particular internal features determines its foreign policy behaviour. The level of consolidation determines whether a state remains a victim of its systemic environment or becomes an effective actor in it. Finally, leadership, by virtue of its location at the intersection of the systemic and the domestic, can make choices that set states on new tangents.
This chapter outlines the paradigm and applies it to a preliminary analysis of the national security of Israel and a nascent Palestinian state. The problem with the realist approach to conceptualizing national security was vividly demonstrated by the implosion of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Adopting the state as the level of analysis creates a problem for exploring the national security of the Palestinian entity, which at time of writing has not achieved de jure recognition as a state. In contrast to a number of Middle Eastern states that have serious ethnic divisions, the Palestinian state is blessed with a relatively homogeneous ethnic that is Arab, population. The Palestinian economy ranks among the poorer economies of the developing world, being even below the average for the Middle East and North Africa.
The nineteenth-century expansion of capitalism and imperialism into the Arab region reflected a combination of superior Western technological, market and military power which penetrated and eventually reduced the Middle East to an economic periphery of the core and imposed a very flawed Western state system on it. External intervention and its often-damaging consequences stimulated an on-going reaction manifested in nationalist and Islamic movements. To many Arabs and Muslims, the struggle with imperialism, far from being mere history, continues, as imperialism reinvents itself in new forms. The Middle East has become the one world region where anti-imperialist nationalism, obsolete elsewhere, remains alive and where an indigenous ideology, Islam, provides a world view still resistant to West-centric globalisation. This dynamic explains much of the international politics of the region.
This chapter is a clarification of the difference between political liberalization and democratization. It formulates the theoretical arguments, namely that regimes and societies are two important referent objects of security which, though neglected by traditional security studies literature, are consequential; and that the two are inextricably linked. This is followed by the chapter's empirical case study, the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority. The chapter offers some preliminary thoughts on the usefulness of this addition to security studies in the light of the Middle Eastern context. An examination of regime-society relations in the developing world in general and the Middle East in particular highlights the inadequacies of traditional formulations of security. Demands for social, economic and political rights across the Middle East have threatened the positions, indeed the very safety and perhaps even the survival, of regimes that have been in power for many years.