Press Freedom and Global Politics

By Douglas A. Van Belle | Go to book overview

separate from the effects of the issue at stake, is not a quirk of the effects of multicollinearity with the democracy variable, and is not an artifact of the casualties/no-casualties threshold.

The substantive implications of this analysis should also not be over- looked. With just six instances of one free press state inflicting casualties upon another in the forty-five-year span of this study, it is clear that dyads that share press freedoms are extremely unlikely to resort to lethal conflicts in disputes. In 1994, the last year covered by the press freedom data, fully 40 percent of states were coded as having a free or imperfectly free press. That suggests that 16 percent of all possible dyads in the international system are extremely unlikely to engage in lethal conflicts. 10 Further, there are no instances of lethal conflict between states that share the more restrictive coding of a clearly free and effective press. In 1994, this subset of states made up 25.3 percent of all states and 6.4 percent of all possible dyads in the international system. This suggests that 6.4 percent of dyads simply will not inflict any casualties whatsoever on each other.


NOTES
1.
See Moses ( 1991) and Staub ( 1989), though the entire issue of Political Psychology (Vol. 10, No. 1) in which the Staub article appears is relevant to this point.
2.
Specifically Gault said, "The image of a degraded enemy is essential to the psychology of any robustly homicidal combat team" ( 1971: 451).
3.
In that article, Ottosen also references several works not published in English that, according to Ottosen's summaries, appear to support the conclusion that the news media play a role in enemy image formation.
4.
Even if we assume that in all nations public support for war is essential to the successful conduct of hostilities, in a restricted press country leadership dominance of the news media is a simple task of command, and there is no reason to expect the nature of the opponent to have any effect upon this process. Thus, a leader in a restricted press country is presumably always able to meet this necessary condition for conflict.
5.
Luostarinen ( 1989: 126) also lists the credibility of the means of mass socialization as a necessary condition of effective enemy image formulation. Even though the free press is subject to indirect influence, it is considered extremely credible.
6.
However, the experimental results of Geva and Hanson ( 1997),

-93-

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Press Freedom and Global Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Press Freedom and Global Politics 1
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Rational Foreign Policy Choice 9
  • Notes 24
  • 3 - The Press and Foreign Policy 25
  • Notes 44
  • 4 - Press Freedom and Militarized Disputes 47
  • Notes 73
  • 5 - Press Freedom and Lethal International Conflicts 77
  • Notes 93
  • 6 - A Monadic Effect for Press Freedom in Lethal International Conflicts 95
  • Notes 103
  • 7 - Press Freedom and Cooperation 105
  • Notes 127
  • 8 Conclusions 129
  • Appendix Measuring Global Press Freedom 137
  • Notes 148
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 167
  • About the Author 171
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