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Visual Culture and the Legitimation of Military Interventions
Stiftungen - Sonstige;
The power of images has never been more compelling than in today s age of global media and social networks. Pictures of unrest, riots and violence travel easily and render it difficult to stand or even ignore the pain of others . Only few scholars and experts would doubt that visual imaginaries - in particular photos and videos - have political implications. Pictures are taken as evidence of human rights violations, and the Western imagination of conflicts has been framed by many disturbing images of casualties, victims and crimes, ranging from the First World War to the global war on terror . Given the overwhelming power of images, it is all the more necessary to foster an academic and public debate on these questions.

The conference on visual culture and the legitimation of military interventions seeks to address the complex relations between images, media, war and politics. While some disciplines - in particular the history of art, media studies and visual culture - take images quite seriously, the political and historical sciences are a latecomer to this debate. In recent years, scholars in International Relations (IR) and History have increasingly focused on the relation between international politics and the media. The notion of a CNN-effect , i.e. upsetting media representations pushing hesitant policy-makers towards a military intervention, has been widely used and directs our attention to the powerful relation between visual culture(s) and the legitimation of military interventions in Western democracies. A dialogue between different disciplines, conceptual approaches and methodologies is necessary in order to shed some new light on the changing relationship between images, media and war.

The conference is sponsored by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.


International Relations, Interventions, Visual Culture
Dr. Gabi Schlag

Dr. Gabi Schlag

Universitätsplatz 2



Tel.:+49 391 6716424


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