News, Nations, and Power Relations: How Neoliberal Media Reproduce a Hierarchical World Order

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This article adopts a poststructural approach to examine the relationship between the news media and international relations. It compares 15 years of international aid coverage from two donor nations, the United States and Britain, and two recipient nations, India and Pakistan, to understand the types of identities news media construct for a nation in relation to other nations. Despite their differences, the news discourse in all four nations has a neoliberal orientation. Moreover, neoliberalism underpins a hierarchical structure of relations that privileges some nations as superior and makes other nations willing participants in their own subordination. While scholars of press–state relations regard newsmaking as epiphenomenal to foreign policymaking, this article argues that newsmaking and policymaking are mutually constitutive social phenomena: both draw from and, in turn, reproduce a shared conception of national identity vis-à-vis other nations. In doing so, the article illustrates the productive power of news media in international relations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalCritical sociology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • National Identity
  • Capitalism
  • International Relations
  • Communication
  • United States
  • Britain
  • India
  • Pakistan


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