INFOCORE - (In)forming conflict prevention: The role of media in violent conflict

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Study

INFOCORE aims to uncover the dynamic, interactive processes underlying the production and dissemination of conflict-related media contents. Thereby, it addresses

INFOCORE pursues a comparative approach along multiple dimensions.

First, we compare across different conflict cases, varying conflict characteristics, international involvement, and conflict phases. All cases include both phases of escalation and de-escalation, and allow a systematic comparison revealing recurring patterns and case-specific idiosyncrasies. Specifically, we look at six conflicts located in three larger conflict areas:

Middle East

  • Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • Civil War in Syria
Western Balkans

  • Conflict over Kosovo’s independence
  • Inter-ethnic Conflict in Macedonia
African Great Lakes

  • Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ethnic conflict in Burundi

In addition, we look at the reflection of these conflicts in selected European public and political spheres:

Second, we compare the production and dissemination patterns across different kinds of media environments, each of which is shaped by its characteristic logics of news production and dissemination:

Third, we compare the role of media in conflict for the conflict perceptions and behavior of different kinds of media audiences:

comparison

 

INFOCORE focuses on the process character of conflict news production and dissemination.

Within the socially interactive process of media production, we address a wide range of actors (journalists, political actors, experts, business actors, lay actors, etc) that influence, or try to influence the news. Within this process, different actors can take in three characteristic roles:

Within the dynamic, evolutionary process of conflict news dissemination, we furthermore analyze different stages in the collaborative construction of conflict interpretations. The various conflict interpretations advanced in a public debate undergo a recurring cycle of:

 

structure

 

INFOCORE pursues an integrated, comparative research strategy that combines different perspectives, different kinds of data, multiple methodologies:

To address the roles of actors involved in the news production process, INFOCORE uses a combination of expert interviewing, focus group interviewing, and quantitative surveys.

To address the evolution of conflict interpretations represented in the conflict news dissemination process, INFOCORE uses a combination of discourse analysis, qualitative frame and narrative analysis, and the quantitative, computer-assisted content analysis of large scale text data.

INFOCORE applies an integrated methodological framework that defines the main strategies for sampling, data gathering, and analysis across the different Work Packages. Thereby, INFOCORE ensures maximum coherence and facilitates the comparative analysis of findings from different case studies.

INFOCORE presents the first systematically comparative, dynamic, process-oriented study of the role of media in violent conflict.