Syria, Press Framing, and the Responsibility to Protect

Syria, Press Framing, and the Responsibility to Protect

Book - 2017
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This study investigates the media’s role in presenting and interpreting the humanitarian crisis of the Syrian Civil War and influencing policies. It analyzes 400 editorials and opinion articles about Syria in The New York Times, Britain’s The Guardian, and Canada’s The Globe and Mail, published between March 2011 and Assad’s use of chemical weapons in September 2013. The book begins with background on the origins and nature of the war, then provides a chapter charting the evolution of norms of international involvement in domestic conflicts. Subsequent discussion centers on how the media have influenced policy makers’ and political leaders’ decisions regarding Syria, as well as the failure of the UN to enforce the Responsibility to Protect. A color map is included. The book’s readership includes scholars, advanced students, and others in political science, media studies, humanitarian crises, media and public opinion, media and government decision making, and the Syrian Civil War. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

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The Syrian Civil War has created the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of World War II, sending shock waves through Syria, its neighbours, and the European Union. Calls for the international community to intervene in the conflict, in compliance with the UN-sanctioned Responsibility to Protect (R2P), occurred from the outset and became even more pronounced following President Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians in August 2013. Despite that egregious breach of international convention, no humanitarian intervention was forthcoming, leaving critics to argue that UN inertia early in the conflict contributed to the current crisis

Syria, Press Framing, and The Responsibility to Protect examines the role of the media in framing the Syrian conflict, their role in promoting or, on the contrary, discouraging a robust international intervention. The media sources examined are all considered influential with respect to the shaping of elite views, either directly on political leaders or indirectly through their influence on public opinion. The volume provides a review of the arguments concerning appropriate international responses to events in Syria and how they were framed in leading newspapers in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada during the crucial early years of the conflict; considers how such media counsel affected the domestic contexts in which American and British decisions were made not to launch forceful interventions following Assad's use of sarin gas in 2013; and offers reasoned speculation on the relevance of R2P in future humanitarian crises in light of the failure to protect Syrian civilians.


The Syrian Civil War has created the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of WWII. Early calls for R2P inspired humanitarian intervention went unheeded. This book examines the role of influential media in the West in framing the conflict, including their role in promoting, or on the contrary, discouraging a robust international intervention.

Publisher: Waterloo, Ontario : Wilfrid Laurier University Press, c2017
ISBN: 9781771123075
Branch Call Number: 070.44995 BRI
Characteristics: xii, 227 p. :,map ;,22 cm.

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