Getting to War

Communications and Mobilization in the 2002–03 Iraq Crisis


Just as politicians and diplomats are struggling to come to terms with the impact of the communications revolution in international politics, so too are the academic fields of International Relations and International Communications. Although it is a decade since the twin impacts of satellite television and the Internet began to attract serious attention, scholars are still struggling to understand how to locate innovations in communications within the practice of world politics. Very often discussions are anecdotal or simplistically generalized, reaching conclusions that either the communications revolution is sweeping away the states system or is largely unimportant or that it is having some impact but it is not quite clear what.1 There is a growing body of work that allows us to move beyond these generalizations but much of this is dispersed across relatively specialized debates on topics such as transnational advocacy networks, transparency, deliberation or information warfare and is only just beginning to find its way back into the mainstream theoretical debate.2 This chapter sets out to offer one way of making sense of the impact of the communications revolution in contemporary international politics.


International Relation Security Council World Politics International Politics Mass Destruction 
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© Philip Seib 2005

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