World Sociopolitical Studies

World Sociopolitical Studies

World Sociopolitical Studies, summer 2019, Volume 3, Issue 3



Obama’s Counterterrorism Policy and the Washington Post’s Editorials: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Media-State Interaction

تعداد بازدید : ۵۵ تعداد دانلود : ۹۶
American mass media’s relation with the US government in foreign policy decision-making has been the subject of numerous studies in the interdisciplinary field of political communication. This paper reexamines the interaction between the media and the government in the US foreign policy decision-making process, analyzing the possible congruity and/or incongruity between The Washington Post’s commentaries and former US President Barack Obama’s anti-terrorism campaign. A Critical Discourse Analysis of two Obama statements on counterterrorism, one Washington Post Op-Ed and one editorial suggest that there is an agreement between Obama’s speeches and the corresponding newspaper articles in topics such as choosing defense over offense, changing the conventional war trend, deploying troops, closing down GTMO, avoiding torture and the violation of American citizens' privacy, freedom of press, avoiding giving too much importance to terrorists, and increasing air marshals on flights. Hence, this study confirms the theory of Robinson, which argues that the mediastate relation, i.e. the relationship between The Washington Post’s commentaries and President Barack Obama’s statements, is a bidirectional process in which both American elite media and the US government are involved in attempting to influence the other party under certain conditions.

Fiction and Politics of Islamophobia: A Case Study of Greg Hrbek’s Not on Fire, but Burning

تعداد بازدید : ۶۵ تعداد دانلود : ۶۵
Islamophobia is defined as a closed-minded hatred, fear or prejudice toward Islam and Muslims that result in discrimination, marginalization, and oppression. This phenomenon was strengthened after September 11 marked a watershed in the history of America. In the wake of 9/11, Islamophobia was promulgated in a plethora of textual and visual narratives, including novel. This paper studies Islamophobia in Greg Hrbek’s latest novel Not on Fire, But Burning (2015). A close reading of the novel reveals that the novel couples Islam with terrorism and barbarity, and sets forth the Self/Other dichotomy, which is rather cherished in the discourse of Islamophobia. As observed in a long history of Islamophobic rhetoric, Hrbek’s novel depicts that certain people, undoubtedly Muslims, are outside the American system of values, ready to catch America off-guard. With the images the work promotes of Islam and its followers, it is argued that Not on Fire, But Burning reinforces Islamophobia and biased frames of reference on Islam and Muslims.

Baraza, The Space of Public Life in Stone Town of Zanzibar

تعداد بازدید : ۵۲ تعداد دانلود : ۳۷
One of the most important elements of public space in Stone Town of Zanzibar is the baraza. The baraza is the place where people sit, meet, talk, and even rest. In its simplest form, the baraza is a platform built in front of houses or in open public spaces. Although the baraza was brought to Stone Town from rural areas of Zanzibar in the past century, today it is a part of its identity. The main question of this research is that at the present time, given the formation of new public spaces, as well as the development of communication and social networks, what role do barazas play in the daily life of the inhabitants of Stone Town? Primary research data has been compiled through semi-structured interviews with residents, and secondary reports, articles and books have also been consulted. This research shows that in spite of lifestyle changes and the development of the media, the baraza is still an essential part of the everyday life and culture of the inhabitants of Stone Town: it is regarded as an information base, a place for entertainment, a social unit, a political platform, and a religious base.

Weapons of Mass Destruction in Context; Investigating the Links between Militarization and Godlessness of Modern Politics

تعداد بازدید : ۵۶ تعداد دانلود : ۳۹
Modern brutality, which found its culmination in using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against humanity, is the dark side of the principal teachings of the Enlightenment. The great thinkers of the Enlightenment, blaming religion as the main source of violence, removed God from the center of Western political and social thought to replace it with human. Although they were not conscious of the outcomes of their philosophy, in the course of time, it made modern societies more power-hungry and less accountable for their actions. To investigate this issue, relying on Theodor Adorno and other critics, the rudiments of the Enlightenment will first be analyzed. Then, looking at the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this article investigates the way in which militarization, and its peak, the atomic bomb, became an unintended outcome of the Enlightenment. In the next step, we will discuss the reactions of American Churches to the bomb to examine how differently a God-centered perspective may act against using or proliferating WMD. This leads to the role that the belief in God may play in increasing the sense of accountability in man’s social and political behavior. The article concludes that based on historical evidence, there is no indication that a human-centered model is more immune from violence than a God-centered one.  

An Investigation of World-System Theory and Globalization in the Rama Novels by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee

تعداد بازدید : ۵۸ تعداد دانلود : ۳۷
Noam Chomsky argues that only a meager percentage of the world, consisting of mainly large corporations and developed nations, prosper from globalization. As stated in Immanuel Wallerstein’s World-System Theory, the modern system of the world, which is constructed according to the economic status of nations, can be divided into three levels: the core, the semi-periphery, and the periphery. While extensive research have been conducted on Immanuel Wallerstein, Noam Chomsky, and Arthur C. Clarke separately, no published work has exclusively studied Wallerstein’s and Chomsky’s theories in Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee’s science fiction novels—Rama novels. This paper first aims to illustrate the relevance of Immanuel Wallerstein and Noam Chomsky and to argue that globalization, enjoyed by the core states, can be a new wave of colonization. Then, it is discussed that in the globalized world imagined by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee in their Rama novels, the semi-periphery and the periphery nations, with only a marginal role in vital space expeditions, are exploited by the core, which runs and regulates the world in the way it desires. Moreover, the paper investigates the way in which the core states in the Rama novels try to ensure a lofty role in the world, the result of which is rape, disease, bankruptcy, and murder.

A Visual Framing Analysis of French and US Political Cartoons on Trump's Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal

تعداد بازدید : ۵۷ تعداد دانلود : ۳۱
The present study examines how Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on May 8, 2018 was framed in political cartoons published in the American and French media. The paper offers a thematic analysis of cartoons published from May 8 to June 8, 2018, the peak period for publication of cartoons on the Iran nuclear deal, and accessed via Google images. The paper applies the five categorizations of news frames identified by Semetko and Valkenburg (2000)—the conflict frame, human interest frame, economic consequences frame, responsibility frame and morality frame—to the selected cartoons to identify whether the frames used in the political cartoons vary between the American and French news outlets. This comparative study shows both divergence and convergence in the issues and concerns covered in the media of the both countries.