The Serbs in Western Political and Media Discourse: Othering, Demonisation and Tutelage
Hammond, P. (2022). The Serbs in Western Political and Media Discourse: Othering, Demonisation and Tutelage. in: Journalism and Foreign Policy: How the US and UK Media Cover Official Enemies Routledge.
This chapter examines portrayals of the Serbs during the conflicts of Yugoslavia’s breakup: Croatia’s secession in 1991, the 1992–95 Bosnian war, and the 1999 Kosovo conflict. Attempts to make sense of post-Cold War conflicts involved a concern with the West’s self-image, defined through contrast with newly-designated enemies, in this case, the Serbs. The initial stages of Yugoslavia’s breakup prompted a revival of Balkanism – a view of the region as synonymous with barbarism and backwardness – which chimed with early 1990s ideas about a new ‘clash of civilisations'. Balkanist motifs persisted, but were overshadowed by the more significant theme of Nazification, which became prominent in coverage of the Bosnian war and dominated the later Kosovo conflict. In this framing, the Serbs were not just Othered as backward but demonised as evil perpetrators of genocide, in contrast to the good Western Self. These propaganda battles had lasting effects, helping to affirm a new post-Cold War role for Western military power and to exert pressure on Serbia as it ceased being an official enemy and came under Western tutelage. Within Serbia, a Western-oriented intellectual elite has internalised many of the negative perceptions of the country, a phenomenon described by Serbian critics as ‘auto-chauvinism’.
|Keywords||war reporting; Balkans; Serbia; othering; demonisation|
|Book title||Journalism and Foreign Policy: How the US and UK Media Cover Official Enemies|
File Access Level
|09 Sep 2022|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||09 Jun 2022|
|Deposited||01 Sep 2022|
This is an author's draft and may differ from the final published version
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