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Media and Conflict: Escalating Evil

Overview

The world faces explosive conflicts about the distribution and scarcity of resources, about ethnicity and religion, and about the risks of urban life. These conflicts can easily spiral out of control toward mass slaughter—an evil of huge proportions that is often escalated by the media. What should be done to prevent this lethal trend? We need to understand how the “spiral of escalation” works. How do media create anxiety, provide space for agitation, and disconnect people?

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Overview

The world faces explosive conflicts about the distribution and scarcity of resources, about ethnicity and religion, and about the risks of urban life. These conflicts can easily spiral out of control toward mass slaughter—an evil of huge proportions that is often escalated by the media. What should be done to prevent this lethal trend? We need to understand how the “spiral of escalation” works. How do media create anxiety, provide space for agitation, and disconnect people?

Three approaches to the prevention of mass mediated aggression are proposed in this book: an early warning system for incitement to mass destruction, the invitation to disarming conversations in urban space, and the teaching of “compassionate communication” to children and others. Alertness to the recurrence of collective violence is urgently needed not only in unstable and poor societies, but also in established democracies. Ordinary people can be incited to the mass slaughter of other ordinary people anywhere. Understanding the media’s role in this and acting to prevent it are key goals of this book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594516443
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/2011
  • Series: Media and Power
  • Pages: 179
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cees J. Hamelink is currently Professor of Human Rights and Public Health at the Athena Institute at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and Professor of Management of Information and Knowledge for Sustainable Development at the University of Aruba in Oranjestad, Aruba as well as Professor Emeritus of International Communication at the University of Amsterdam. He worked as a foreign correspondent for radio and television and was formerly a policy adviser and researcher for several intergovernmental organizations and national governments. He is editor-in-chief of the International Communication Gazette, is the Honorary President of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, and has authored sixteen books on communication, culture, and human rights.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: Conflict and Evil 1

Images of Evil 1

Humiliation 4

Conclusion 7

Chapter 1 Living with Others: The Inevitable Conflict 9

Others and Conflicts 9

The Dynamics of Conflict: The Escalation Spiral 17

Anxiety 22

Agitation 26

Alienation 27

Accusation in a Mirror 29

Conclusion 29

Chapter 2 Media and the Spiral of Escalation 31

Mediatized Conflict 32

Studies on Media Violence 36

Media and Anxiety 38

Climate Crisis 40

Mental Health Crisis 42

Financial Crisis 44

Media and Agitation 44

Media and Alienation 48

Dehumanizing Language and Genocide 49

The Huntington Thesis 52

Media and Accusation in a Mirror 54

Conclusion 55

Chapter 3 Taming the Spiral of Escalation 57

Communication and Conflict 57

Peace Journalism 61

Human Rights Reparations 62

The Mont Fleur Experience 63

Beyond Peace Journalism 65

New Media 67

Conclusion 68

Chapter 4 Mindful Communication 69

Mindfulness 69

The Modalities of Mindless Versus Mindful Communication 71

Training 77

Children 78

Music Teaching 79

Enabling Environment 81

Conclusion 81

Chapter 5 The Communicative City 83

Disarming Conversation 84

Right to the Communicative City 86

Heterogeneity 88

Speed 89

Mindlessness 90

Conclusion 90

Chapter 6 Collective Evil: Can It Happen Again? 93

Collective Conflict and Evil-Doing 93

The Present State of Group Conflict in the World 97

The Three Essential Conflicts Today 101

Urban-Based Conflicts 101

Resource-Based Conflicts 109

Identity-Based Conflicts 114

The Recurrence of Lethal Collective Conflict in Contemporary History 119

Conclusion 122

Chapter 7 International Media Alert System (IMAS) 123

Crimes Against Humanity 123

Early Alert 125

Elimination Beliefs 125

International Law 127

Prosecution and Trial 128

The International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg 129

The International Tribunal on Genocide in Rwanda 129

The Freedom of Expression 132

Is "Hate Speech" a Crime? 133

Research Needed 135

Conclusion 136

Chapter 8 Learning from Albert Camus 137

Utopianism 139

Realism 142

Absolutism Versus Reflexivity 143

Sisyphism 144

Final Thoughts 145

Notes 147

References 157

Further Reading 165

Index 171

About the Author 179

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