|| IPM3530 |
|| MEDIA, PROPAGANDA AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS |
|| 2001/2002 |
|| Dr Susan Carruthers |
|| Semester 2 |
| Course delivery
|| Seminar || 1 x two hour seminar per week over one semester |
|| Essay || 2 x 2,000 word essays - 25% each || 50% |
|| Exam || 3 Hours || 50% |
By the end of the module, students should:
have developed an historicized awareness of various paradigms of propaganda/mass communications research, be able to identify different 'schools' and evaluate their comparative analytic strengths and weaknesses
have an insight into the communicative dimensions of international politics, particularly the purposeful use of mass media as a tool of diplomacy, war and 'mass persuasion'
be able to consider normative and ethical questions concerning the use and nature of propaganda in war and peacetime
be able to assess the utility and limitations of 'propaganda' as a category for analysis
be able to make evaluative comparisons of propaganda conducted by differing types of regimes, and across historical periods;
be familiar with analysing different types of sources, including films and offical documents.
The aim of this module is to explore the concept of propaganda - and in so doing to situate theories of propaganda within broader paradigms of communications research - assessing the utility of 'propaganda' to the study of international history and politics. Beginning with an introduction to theories of propaganda, the course then asesses different forms of propaganda in various twentieth century contexts, covering war and cold war alike. The case studies follow a roughly chronological order, enabling continuity and change in the theory and practice of propaganda to be more readily gauged. But in each case, particular issues of propaganda practice and different interpretive accounts of them will be foregrounded.
Various themes and questions emerge from the case studies, such as:
- the place of 'propaganda' within various theories of 'mass communications' (and related concepts such as 'hegemony', 'ideology', reception and so on), adn the specific historic circumstances, technological developments and political agendas to which different theories addressed themselves
- a comparison of propaganda methods employed by different types of political regimes, and the significance of propaganda to theories of totalitarianism
- the degree to which propaganda requires conscious agency and intentionality; correspondingly how far, if at all, propaganda may be transmitted unwittingly and may be in some senses, 'structural'
- persuasive techniques employed in the attempt to influence domestic and foreign audiences, and the deployment of culture and news as propaganda weapons
- the problem of measuring propaganda effects and determining its 'scussess' in particular wars or campaigns