Mapping Interaction Effects within the Media/Foreign Policy Nexus
In his review of the literature on the CNN effect and the media’s influence on foreign policy, Piers Robinson (2011) highlighted that although such a causal link cannot be implied from empirical research, the media is to be seen as a necessary constraint on foreign policy decisions. This book argues that within the nexus (the media/foreign policy nexus) created by the interactions between media and policymakers in EU foreign policy, three types of interaction effects can be identified: indexing, bounding, and agenda setting. Indexing, bounding, and agenda setting as interaction effects underlying the media/foreign policy nexus hinge upon the way in which policymakers interact with and perceive the media (and the policy definitions that it frames). Policy definitions are researched here through frame analysis which will be detailed in chapter 3 dealing with the methodology employed in this book. Framing is broadly considered to capture the way individuals, groups, or entities represent reality by focusing on some aspects while downplaying others. The media generally frame three types of policy definitions expressing problems, solutions, or expectations. This distinction among the three types of policy definitions framed by the media allows us to empirically identify (and evaluate) instances of the three interaction effects (indexing, bounding, and agenda setting) and their implication for the way democratic legitimacy is enacted.
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