Recent studies in International Relations suggest that the political consequences of narratives and images of war are informed not only by their content and presentation but also their emotional effects. Few researchers, however, investigate how various audiences respond to such images and narratives in practice. A new article, co-authored by Dr Rhys Crilley and Dr Precious Chatterje-Doody, makes an important contribution the scholarship on the topic.
Their paper combines discourse analysis of RT ‘breaking news’ YouTube videos of Russian military intervention in Syria with analysis of 750 comments and social media interactions on those videos. The study demonstrates how RT layers moral and legal justifications for Russian intervention in multiple audio-visual formats, within a visual narrative of the conflict that relies on affective representations of key actors and events. The authors find that viewers largely approve of the content, replicate its core narratives and express emotions coherent with RT’s affective representation of the Syrian conflict. Audiences’ responses to these narratives and images of war were shaped by their affective investments in the identities and events portrayed on-screen.
The article contributes to our understanding of the political significance of images of armed conflict. It is available on early view in the journal Cambridge Review of International Affairs. Access the full article here.
Dr Rhys Crilley, a former Research Associate on our project, will soon be starting his Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Glasgow.
Dr Precious Chatterje-Doody, a former Research Associate on our project, is now a Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at The Open University.