The visual politics of legitimation in the digital age: the cases of the British Army and the Syrian Opposition

Crilley, Rhys (2016). The visual politics of legitimation in the digital age: the cases of the British Army and the Syrian Opposition. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

[img] Crilley16PhD_Redacted.pdf
PDF - Redacted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 19 August 2020.

Download (1MB) | Request a copy


In the discipline of International Relations, scholars have recently drawn attention to how political actors use narratives to claim legitimacy for themselves, their actions, and their use of force. Whilst such work provides welcome insights, there has been little attention given to how these narratives are often told through visual media on digital social media sites. In light of this, this thesis argues that visual media are central to how political actors claim legitimacy for the use of force in the digital age. Theoretically informed by work on aesthetics, narrative, and visual global politics, this thesis provides an analytical framework for studying the visual politics of legitimation. This is then explored through two case studies of the British Army and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. In each case study I draw upon multiple methods to analyse the narrative and visual content of each actor’s official Facebook Page, as well as the contexts of media production and audience reception. This thesis contributes to studies of global politics by illustrating how each actor uses visual media to claim legitimacy for the use of force, and thereby provides the first empirical analysis of the visual politics of legitimation.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society, Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JZ International relations
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year