Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Combatting Freedom Fighters, Rebels or Terrorists?

Department

Political Science Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to offer condolences to President Bush and to offer support in combatting terrorism. Some in the U.S foreign policy establishment and media commentators readily accepted the claim that Russias war in Chechnya was connected to the global war on terrorism. This paper examines the extent to which major U.S. media outlets framed Russias second war in Chechnya in connection with the U.S. s own counterterrorism efforts. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative content analysis, we also compare media coverage of the second war with the first war during the 1990s for the purpose of analyzing potentially different and changing frames over time and over two Russian and two U.S. presidential administrations. By investigating similar events than span both wars initial invasions and sieges of Grozny, episodes of hostage-taking, and peace negotiations this analysis attempts to uncover the ways in which media coverage reflects U.S. foreign policy priorities, analyzes events in Russia through the prism of presidential personalities, and provides context for American readers and viewers.

Conference Name

Annual MPSA Conference

Conference Location

Chicago, Illinois

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