Ben O'Loughlin, together with colleagues Alister Miskimmon (Royal Holloway) and Andreas Antoniades (University of Sussex) have published a new working paper, Great Power Politics and Strategic Narratives. This comes out of our interest in how states use media to project their identity, values and interests into the international arena, and to ask how we can show what difference this narrative work makes. Whether around critical events like Iranian protests or the financial crisis, or generation-long public diplomacy 'hearts and minds' efforts, states compete to impose their narrative on where the world is going and what their role is in it. If you can get other major powers to see the international order in the way you want - as made up of sovereign entities, great civilisations, or tending towards cosmopolitan interdependence - then managing interactions in that order becomes a lot easier.
Whether one studies the US, EU or China, finance, security or climate change, strategic narratives are a lens to understand the positioning and dynamic interactions that are shaping world politics. A special section on strategic narratives will be held at the ECPR's 7th Pan-European IR conference in Stockholm in September 2010.
This is very much a work in progress and we welcome comments.
This paper emerges from a catalytic workshop at the International Studies Convention in New York in February 2009. We are grateful to Adam Fishwick at the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex for arranging the publication.