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The Dynamics of Mediatized Conflicts

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Edited By Mikkel Fugl Eskjær, Stig Hjarvard and Mette Mortensen

This book engages with the mediatized dynamics of political, military and cultural conflicts. In today’s global and converging media environment, the interrelationship between media and conflict has been altered and intensified. No longer limited to the realms of journalism and political communication, various forms of new media have allowed other social actors to communicate and act through media networks. Thus, the media not only play an important role by reporting conflicts; they have also become co-constitutive of the ways conflicts develop and spread.
The first part of the book, Transnational Networks, addresses the opportunities and challenges posed by transnational media to actors seeking to engage in and manage conflicts through new media platforms. The second part, Mobilising the Personal: Crossing Public and Private Boundaries, concerns the ways in which media framings of conflicts often revolve around personal aspects of public figures. The third part, Military, War, and Media, engages with a classic theme of media studies – the power relationship between media, state, and military – but in light of the mediatized condition of modern warfare, in which the media have become an integrated part of military strategies.
The book develops new theoretical arguments and a series of empirical studies that are essential reading for students and scholars interested in the complex roles of media in contemporary conflicts.
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Chapter Two: Mediatized Transnational Conflicts: Online Media and the Politicisation of the European Union in Times of Crisis

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CHAPTER TWO

Mediatized Transnational Conflicts

Online Media and the Politicisation of the European Union in Times of Crisis

ASIMINA MICHAILIDOU AND HANS-JÖRG TRENZ



THE EUROPEAN CRISIS AND THE MEDIA

The notion of crisis in political thought has always been intrinsically linked to periods of critical rupture and accelerated social change. Crisis signifies contingency, loss of control, and arbitrariness, but also change, departure, and search for orientation (Holten, 1987). A crisis puts social integration at stake; that is, it impairs the ‘consensual foundations of normative structures’ of society (Habermas, 1975, p. 3). As such, a crisis can be empirically observed in the opposition, dichotomies, and resistances it generates. A crisis is accompanied by deep social conflicts and a fundamental challenge of political legitimacy. The drama of legitimacy struggles unfolds through the discursive strategies and practices of the particular actors involved. In our contemporary mediatized societies, crises and the conflicts inherent in them are therefore intrinsically related to the processes of media representation and contestation. As stated in the introduction to this volume, studies of conflict increasingly have to take account of the near omnipresence of media and information technology, connecting the opponents of conflicts, representing their contestation for the public, driving and often intensifying the conflict dynamics, and ultimately also warranting for its societal and political impact—or as Simon Cottle (2006) puts it, the media ‘are capable of enacting and performing conflicts as well...

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